Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Parts is Parts

Dear Cynthia,

Let the finishing begin.

Here are three sets of sweater components, that is, three sweater bodies, and six sweater sleeves. If I can get all of this stuff put together (and right now it's looking pretty good), I will have my initial wave of Christmas knitting completed. The brown sweater has been done and blocked for a while; the other two sweaters are the ones I've just completed knitting, so they both have the usual weaving in of ends and blocking. Obviously, all sweaters require the dreaded **seaming**. Yuck. But, anyway, then end is in sight. Yay!

I said this is the "initial wave", because of course, now I'm having thoughts of making little matching teddy bear sweaters for my boys' teddy bears using the leftover yarn from my boys' sweaters, and a couple of hats and socks, etc.... Lunacy.

In other news, a couple of days ago I had an interesting conversation with my six year old.

Son: Mommy, I'm in a band. I really am.
Me: Really. Who else is in the band.
Son: Jake, Coby, and Derek (or some subset of kids in his class)
Me: Hmmm, what instrument do you play?
Son: Electric guitar (though, I'm not sure he knows what that is)
Me: You're taking piano lessons. Is there some reason you're not on keyboard?
Son: I think somebody else is playing that. We're going to play for Lauren and Allison. Mommy, I tried to kiss Lauren on the lips. I really did.
Me: Oh? Do you like Lauren?
Son: No, not really.
Me: Then why are you trying to kiss her? (Trying to nip fraternity behavior in the bud...)
Son: Because Jake and Coby did.

And so it seems my son had left the house in the morning as a first grader, and returned home as a freshman. I reminded him that I think it is best for now if he only kisses people in his family. He seemed okay with that. Perhaps I can teach him about the power of the wink, instead ;-)

There are so many questions a parent has, especially as the first kid is growing up and getting more independent. Two weeks ago, a man called me to ask if my six year old would be available to play with his son later in the day, and this man said he'd come pick him up at this time and bring him home at that time, etc. It caught me off guard, so I agreed and hung up. Then, I remembered that I do not know this person, and this person might have guns in his house, etc. And so, I phoned back to say that I was going to be out with my son anyway, and could easily drop him off at this friend's house (so that I could at least have a little understanding about their home) and by the way, do you have any guns? (They didn't.) I felt foolish asking the question, but I wouldn't have been able to live with myself if anything had happened. Anyway.....the trials of a paranoid mother trying to protect her child in a crazy world without denying him the independence he needs to develop, etc.....

I know I'm going to need therapy at some point (and I'm quite certain my kids will). For now, I knit.

Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Holiday Report

Dear Laura:

Well, I think I've decompressed from the wildness of the holiday weekend. All too quickly, food was prepared, consumed and cleaned up.....and of course, the shopping begun.

Years ago (20 to be exact) my 2 sils suggested that we have a girls-only-get-away-weekend starting the day after Thanksgiving. We went to Nashville Indiana to the artsy shops, and avoided the madness of the malls. This has been an enduring tradition. That first year, the oldest girl-children were 3 and therefore left with the father. Eventually age 13 was determined to be the "age of reason" and the next generation joined us.

Over the years, the participants have come and gone. (There was a divorce. The new wife has accepted the fact that we have 15 years of memories with the old wife. We love making new ones....but the first wife's name is gonna come up.) The two little girls who were 3 that first year are now mothers themselves. Sometimes it's a large group (10 if everyone had gone this year) other times it's smaller (this year was actually 5) but it's always lots of fun and laughing. There is an outlet mall nearby now, and also a regular mall, so we split our time in different venues. Also, for the second year.........A YARN STORE FOR ME!!!

Fortunately, I had a plan and I stuck to it. While money was spent and yarn acquired, there was no "random stash enhancement." Here is the booty:

I was happy to find a copy of Interweave Knits Holiday edition, since that was not part of my subscription. The three balls of Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille are for The Rebellious Pastor's Wife - I believe she's making blossom face cloths. There are 2 grey and 1 cream of Fortissima Sock yarn for the Tech guys socks on my "not Christmas knitting" list, and 2 balls of Cascade 220 behind the soap. That's a secret "experiment" thing. And finally, #3 dpns and #8 dpns. I could have sworn I had those sizes....but must have left them too near the Knitting Needle Black Hold of Death.

I am also happy to report that I finished the brown hat to warm my brother's head, and have made progress on the socks for his wife.

(I carried the yarn in my backpack, and knitted while shopping! A new personal best.....)

I managed to forget to take my glasses (don't ask) and so I had to buy sunglasses, since mine are clips that go on my regular glasses.

And finally, after my sage advice to you about projects to knit while riding in a car after dark....I forgot to plan for that, and so had nothing suitable with me. But I did make progress over the weekend!!

Keep knitting,
Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A change in my thinking...

Dear Cynthia,

Many years ago, I purchased a book called "The Tightwad Gazette", by Amy Dacyczyn. Few things I've read since then have changed my way of thinking about my responsibilities as much as one of the articles in that book did, so, even though it is after Thanksgiving, I'm going to share part of that article with you, because it is relevant at any time of the year.

And so, I share with you excerpts from "A Stolen Thanksgiving Soap Box Speech", taken from "The Tightwad Gazette"...

We have not all been born with the same gifts. A gift is anything that we have that we did not work for. People born to wealth have more advantages than those born in poverty. People with a high intelligence will probably fare better than those born with low intelligence...Most of us feel that being born in the United States is a gift...we are likely to have greater opportunities for education, health care, and employment than those living in Third World countries....Those of us who were raised in good families have a gift. Not everyone was raised with love, security, positive feedback, and values...."work ethic" is also a gift. Some parents taught it to their kids and some parents did not. The bottom line is to understand that what we have and who we are has a lot to do with factors we received in a package deal when we came into the world....The attitude of "I worked hard and I deserve..." does not consider the very large degree that our gifts contributed to what we have. By donating some of our surplus time, energy, and money we express thankfulness for the abundance of gifts with which we were born.

Anyway, I know I'm "preaching to the choir" with this post, because I've noticed that knitters in general seem to be of generous spirits to begin with. It's just something that I think about from time to time, because I really do feel quite blessed, and I remind myself that along with so many blessings I have a responsibility toward others who were born with fewer advantages. Anyway....sermon over...

I've been working on a sock. It's a very fun pattern, and is going rather quickly. It is the first time I've used Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Yarn (this is dk weight), and I'm really enjoying it!

Also, the boys and I worked on a gingerbread house today. They each wanted a different roof style, so we ended up making each side of the roof different. It wasn't too much later when they began asking if they could eat the leftover candies and lost interest in decorating the sides of the house.

Well, time to go read some more chapters in my Developmental Psych book. I'm working through the sections on Middle Adulthood, and I'm not sure I really want to learn all about how my body has been decaying since I was in my 20's and how it's going to be more and more noticeable in the coming years.

Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Lillian Bag pattern, now available

Introducing the Lillian Bag, a pattern for making a felted bag in two styles. One version utilizes purchased handles; the other has a shoulder strap. This pattern also includes directions and options for needle felting a design onto the felted bag.
Both bag styles have mitered garter stitch bottom, knit-in vertical "edges", no seaming, and optional needle felting embellishment. Bag with purchased handles is 11.5 inches wide by 13.5 inches tall (not including handles) by 3.5 inches from front to back. Bag with shoulder strap is 11.5 inches wide by 11.5 inches tall (not including strap or gussets) by 4 inches from front to back. (Bag will seem "bigger", however, because of the strap gussets.) Both bags would work well to carry knitting projects.

This pattern is printed on card stock (11x17 inches folded in half) and may be purchased at One Planet Yarn and Fiber by clicking here.

It is also available at One Planet Yarn and Fiber in a kit with needle-felting supplies by clicking on "Needle Felting Kits" in the sidebar of that store, or by clicking here. The kit includes assorted bits of colored fiber, three felting needles, foam pad, and pattern.

Bag with purchased handles also requires:
  • 810 yards of worsted weight feltable yarn, such as Cascade 220 or Plymouth Galway
  • Purchased handles having 4.5-5.0" straight part for attaching to bag
Bag with shoulder strap also requires:
  • 1050 yards of worsted weight feltable yarn, such as Cascade 220 or Plymouth Galway
Both bags are knit using size 13 circular needles, 16 inches and 29 inches long.

This is a great project to create a single color felted bag to embellish with needle felting, or use various feltable stash yarns for a unique bag without embellishment.

Contact YarnThrower directly for wholesale pricing.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I'm still not doing Christmas knitting, ok??

Dear Laura:

I am still holding firm in my resolve. Instead of the usual always-expanding-list-of-items-that-I-plan-to-knit-for-Christmas battling the constantly-diminishing-amount-of-time-remaining-before-Christmas, I am sitting out the whole Christmas knitting madness.


The following is the current list of knitted projects that I am NOT knitting as Christmas gifts (but am secretly hoping to have done....NO, stop the madness!)

1. Feather and Fan scarf for mom (note that this pattern does not lend itself to multi-tasking. You answer a question while knitting a pattern row,'s just not pretty.)
2. Warm brown hat for middle brother
3. Socks for middle SIL (they are always doing something for me!)
4. Fuzzy feet for niece-who-is-also my beautician
5. Tech guy socks with the Apple logo for my Mac-pusher friend
6. Angora baby know, we draw names for the exchange on Thursday, and if I get one of the baby girls...and then I could do a little sweater or some socks, or mittens....

I would also note that while Christmas is 34 days away, only one of these projects is even on the needles.

Nope. No crazy Christmas knitting here. Has anyone seen my meds? There has to be a treatment plan for this......(mumble, mumble....)

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

Holiday projects

Dear Cynthia,

I can totally relate to your experience of continuing to knit even though you have a queasy feeling that things are just not right, only to end up having to rip out even more knitting. Bummer about ripping back, but hopefully you are more at peace now :-)

Again, a thank you to our commenters. Sometimes staying at home with young children can be a bit isolating, and even though it is a virtual community, it's so nice to have knitterly friends to interact with during the day.

I finished my acrylic mittens. I've been wearing them, and they are working out just fine and not irritating my skin at all, which is nice, because after I wear wool mittens, the only thing that really works to clear up the red itchy blotches is steroid nice to be able to avoid that. They do not even come close to offering the warmth that wool mittens do; however, most days they'll work just fine.

We've also been doing some projects to get ready for Christmas. The boys love art projects, and especially get excited when they find something in a magazine which we get to make. Here are some candy cane mice out of a Martha Stewart magazine, though the pattern and instructions is also available here. Cute, fun project, and to make them less "breakable", on some of them we substituted pipe cleaner candy canes for real ones by twisting together a red and a white 6" pipe cleaner and making it into a candy cane shape.

We are also working on placemats which look very nice on the table, though we keep spilling on them.....

And finally, the body of Hardangervidda is off the needles!!! YAY! I blocked it yesterday, and the trick has been to conceal it from dh. Today, after he left for work, I moved it out into a common area to a place having more air movement for faster drying. In a rare turn of events, and much to my dismay, shortly after 8:00 dh walked in the door and said that he had forgotten about a meeting he had which was going to be starting at 8:30 and at an offsite location only minutes from our home. (This type of thing happens only maybe once a year, and so naturally it would happen on the only day I have his Christmas sweater on display in the middle of a hallway...) And so, I'm quite sure that he must have walked by the blocking sweater..... though he didn't say anything and he probably had other things on his mind, so he might not have noticed? In any case, this may or may not be a surprise when he opens it up at Christmas. On a positive note, the size is perfect, right on gauge, and even though I used the same size needles for the plain and colorwork sections, there is no "pulling in" in the colorwork area. I couldn't be happier about how it is working out. Still finishing up the second sleeve.....

Well, lots to do today, including trying to locate a Dale of Norway zipper to sew into the placket.

Have a great Tuesday!
Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)

Monday, November 20, 2006

See, cow farmers should all have knitters in their lives.....

Dear Laura:
Greetings from Indiana! Where I've lived...all of my life!! (I followed back some comments, and found some curiosity about whether I am, like you, a Wisconsin native.) Alas, it is not so, I am but a Dairy State Wanna-be.
I really had to laugh when I saw this story. I mean, I just posted about the cow sling that I knitted, and two days later I find another cow in need of one! I mean, my sling worked - it held up a cow.
I had such grand knitting plans for the weekend, also some housecleaning ambitions. I did get the kitchen floor scrubbed - that was a "have-to" job, and my laundry is current, so that's something.
On the knitting front, I made a few inches of progress on my feather-and-fan scarf. (Please excuse the nasty picture quality. I've had to accept the fact that camera on my cell-phone is going to be it for awhile, so please carry the apologies forward.) I'm using Freedom Spirit yarn by Twilleys of Stamford. I love the colors and progression in this yarn (please ignore the ball-band in the picture, I accidentally grabbed the wrong one...)
I worked on this scarf Friday evening, and at one point discovered that I was 2 stitches short in a row. The bad part about this pattern is that the pattern row is followed by 3 plain rows. So by time you notice that you made a mistake in the pattern row, you have to rip back 4 rows to try again. Ah, but I'm not gonna mess with all that, you see. I'd already done that a couple of times, and this could take forever, so I just picked up 2 stitches at random intervals and moved on. Eight rows later, I looked at the scarf and thought it looked a little lopsided on the right side....but that will work itself out. Four more rows...hmm, really, it looks lopsided...two more know, this is totally not going to work.
RIP sixteen rows instead of 4.........
And now it's better.
Also, here are some bad pictures of yarn that I recently acquired. First is a ball of Louisa Harding yarn that I picked up to make a baby hat with. I saw this knitted up at my LYS and loved it, so I had to snag a ball. I'm hoping I'll get one of the baby girl's names in the Christmas exchange. We'll draw on Thursday, so keep your fingers crossed.

Then these are the yarns that I'm using for my niece Kayla's graduation blanket. I'm doing a slip-stitch pattern with the chocolate brown Cascade 220 Heather as the main color. The contrasting pink variegation is a hand-paint by Dream in Color. It costs twice as much as the brown - but I need less of this than the brown, so I'm closing my eyes and jumping off that cliff.
Well, that's it for now. Tonight is the monthly meeting of the Fort Wayne Knitting Guild, which means I'll be meeting a few fellow knitters for sushi before heading for the Depot. Hmmm, sushi.....
Keep knitting,
Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Not your "grandma's rummage sale yarn"

Dear Cynthia,

Love, love, love the cow sling!

You probably have told me, but if so, I can't recall (I've been told that having children and breast-feeding them sucks the cells right out of a mother's brain)..... Which pattern are you working on for your niece's afghan?

And, I also just want to thank our kind commenters! It's so nice to have a sort of knitting bunch via blog-land!! And, nobody else appreciates my knitting the way other knitters do, so I'm very thankful whenever I read a comment!

On to business..... After prompting by my four year old to "please work on my scarf tonight", I finished the yellow scarf last night, and he loves it! He wore it today, and the smile on his face just warmed my heart. He walked up to some other moms and said, "Did you see my new scarf?" My four year old is a pleasure to knit for. He loves the things I make for him, and wears them all the time, and has never complained that anything I've made for him is "itchy". (Okay, so maybe he is the only person who actually does appreciate my knitting the way other knitters do....)

Last weekend, my mom came to Madison along with her quilting cronies, and they let me tag along with them to go to a few of the quilt stores in the area. It was very fun, and it's pretty neat to see my mom hanging around with such fun ladies. One of them is a bit of a knitter/crocheter, though she doesn't really knit much any more, so she is getting rid of a lot of her knitting supplies. She has adopted me as her "crafting daughter", and this past week gave me six hanks of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn (sport weight), four skeins of Patons Merino, and several knitting books, to which I responded, "Wow!" I've never even purchased Lorna's Laces for myself, though I've admired it in the stores..... This is NOT the typical Red Heart smelly basement clean-out stuff! When I offered to pay her for it, she just mentioned that she might like a pair of purple socks, and this is one of the patterns she likes. And so, socks it is, and I am quite happy to make them for her! ...leading me to my next topic.....

I'm scaling back on the three sweaters in three months challenge. I think the gift sweaters are doable (the Hardangervidda, and the blue "circle square triangle" sweater), but the one for myself in which I'm having to invent new ways to add ten inches to the front of a piece of knitting which shrunk while sitting in my yarn basket is going to have to wait...probably until after I may actually finish my gift sweaters, and also a pair of mittens, and did I mention I'm anxious to knit some socks?!

Well, back to it!
Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)

Finally, some knitting content!

Dear Laura:
I finally opened my Winter issue of Interweave KNITS. Sometimes the knitting gets in the way of the knitting magazine! Before I talk about the knitting progress tho, I enjoyed seeing a little blurb in the magazine about the online knitting exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Early in 2006, I read on someone's blog that they were accepting online submissions for an exhibit of non-garment knitted items. I submitted something, and it was accepted. I never really heard anymore about it - until I saw the piece today. I checked, and my entry is still there! So, check it out here..... Fun, eh?
I have been knitting again, but I don't have a digital camera handy, so you'll just have to take my word for it. My double-knitting reversible hat is about 1/2 done. I have to confess....while I have to pay attention so as not to mix up the's boring. I'm not loving it. I just want it to be done.
SO, I decided to also knit my mom a scarf!! When I first began knitting, I designed and knitted a lace scarf for her in a cream cashmere/silk blend. It was kind of meant to be a dressy scarf to wear with her nice coat, but I noticed that she's also wearing it with her every-day coat because it's the only scarf she has! I can fix that!
Tuesday, Lauren and Angela and I spent our lunch break at Cass Street Depot! I picked up some very pretty variegated yarn. It has a fairly long repeat, and the color changes are subtle and blend well. (Of course, I don't have the ball band with me - I'll update later....) I cast on 40 stitches and am using 2 repeats of a feather and fan pattern (a perennial favorite of mine!)
So my current mode of operation is to estimate the available time to knit, and then work on the hat for 1/2 the time, and the scarf for 1/2 the time. So far, it's working.
I also picked up some more of the yarn for my niece's blanket. They are graciously holding it for me, and I pick up a couple of skeins every few weeks. I have all of the brown, but the variegated pink is twice the price, and so buying it all at once would not work for me. Once I get going, I hope to have a better estimate of my yarn requirements.
I also picked up a lovely yarn to make a baby hat. They have a hat in this color way in the store, and I just love it. Pink, rose, peach, and mossy green - it looks very old-fashioned. It's very light and airy, yet warm and fuzzy. (Ha!) I was in there a few weeks ago, and they only had one ball left. I was between paychecks, so I squirreled the ball away in the back of the bin, behind the other colors. I went back two days later, and it was gone! Someone else wanted it as much as I did! So when I saw that they had replenished the stock, I grabbed a ball right up, and now that is in my to-do pile as well.
I am still not announcing any of this knitting as "Christmas Knitting."
Keep knitting!
Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Do I need re-hab?

Dear Cynthia,

Last Friday, my six year old had the day off from school. And so, the boys and I drove to Milwaukee to meet up with Grandma and Grandpa and go to the new Discovery World (hands-on science museum) they've built on the Lakefront. It was a very fun place to go, though not completed yet, but there was still much to do.

As we were having a late lunch at a nice pizza place, dh called me from Madison and said that the roads in Madison were already getting slippery, and there were driving advisories for areas west of Lake Mills, and I may want to think about staying with my parents for the night to avoid driving in treacherous conditions. And so, the decision was made to stay over in the Milwaukee area. Hmmm..... I hadn't expected to have any "down time" during the day, so I had left all of my knitting in Madison. Hmmm..... What's a girl to do? The boys and I stopped off at a Michael's craft store which we passed on the way to my parents' house so that I could buy yarn, and they could each get a coloring book to help keep them occupied for the rest of the day. When we got to my parents' place, it occurred to me that we didn't have any toothbrushes, or any extra clothes, no toothpaste, etc. However, as far as knitting went, I was all set. Am I addicted? Misplaced priorities?

Anyway, it was fun for the boys to have to "rough it" unexpectedly, and we easily made it back safely the next day.

So, what yarn did I buy at Michael's? Take a look at this picture. "One of these things is not like the other...." If you guessed that I'm making acrylic mittens now, even though I have two very nice pairs of wool mittens, you are correct! Though I don't have an allergy to wool, it still very much irritates the skin on my hands, so I thought I'd make a pair of close-fitting acrylic mittens to wear on their own when it's not so cold, and to wear under a pair of looser-fitting wool mittens when the temperatures really drop.

And, big news on Hardangervidda! I've divided for the neckline. I thought about adding some steek stitches so that I could continue knitting in the round, but most of the rows have one color only, and I figured out that of the remaining multi-color rows, only two of them will have to be worked on the purl side.

Well, lunch time here, so more updates later!

Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)

Not knitting....

Dear Laura:

Ok, it's a good thing that I'm not the one trying to knit 3 sweaters in 3 months! Yikes, I have SO not been knitting lately.

The weekend before last was a wonderful time even tho no knitting took place! My parents came home on Wednesday evening and I enjoyed having them home. Mom really helped me with getting ready for weekend houseguests, and so preparations went very smoothly. On Friday, my friends from Kenosha arrived in time for supper. It was a wild time, going from just me to having 4 adults and 3 kids around. I have to say I really enjoyed that, and it was WAY too quiet after they left.

Sunday evening we had a fire for roasting marshmallows, and I invited some mutual friends to come and expand the party. There were 3 of us knitters there, but we restrained ourselves since we were in the company of muggles.... ;) Besides, s'mores and yarn do NOT mix!

Everyone was gone by Tuesday evening, but I spent most of last week getting ready to travel to KY to stay with my parents over the weekend. I worked through my lunches to accumulate time off for Friday afternoon, so there was no knitting then. When I got to my parent's house on Friday evening, I picked up the double-knit hat that I'm working on. I only got a couple of rounds, however, before my hands started tingling and getting numb. I had more trouble that usual while sleeping as well.

Since I was busy during the day setting up a filing system for my mom, I just decided not to knit while I was there, and give my hands/wrists a break. I'm hoping to pick back up tonight and have more progress to show. This is just NOT the time of year to be on the disabled list!

I love the yellow scarf and its story. Gotta love when someone knows EXACTLY what they want, and are even willing to draw it out for you!

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Hardangervidda update...or, will she finish by December 24th?

Dear Cynthia,

I love watching knitted colorwork patterns come to life. The little dots and x's on the chart don't even come close to the look of the finished knitting. For the Hardangervidda sweater, it's pretty intense, because for many of the colorworked rows, I must refer to the chart for every single stitch, which means it's no longer a good project for toting around town. However, chugging through a few rows per day during "quiet time", I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm trying not to look too closely at this picture of the back, because I'm afraid I'm going to notice an error in the pattern...

I am six weeks into this project. I'd really like to have the knitting done within the next three weeks to give me ample time for the extensive finishing work (front plackets to knit, neckline to knit, sleeves to sew in, facings to stitch down, zipper to install, etc.) I have three quarters of a sleeve still to knit, and roughly 40 rows remaining on the body. I think it's possible to have this done by Christmas, as long as I don't become a slacker, and as long as I'm certain to cut the sleeve holes in the body in their proper locations. That last thing is something I've never missed, but I always worry about it.....

Well, I told my four year old that I'd work on his scarf for a while today when I was done "working" on the computer, so I'd better go do that. Later, we're off to the park! It's another gorgeous day here today, and we're wearing sweaters outside instead of winter coats. Tomorrow, we're expecting two inches of snow.....

Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Back to normal at last...

Dear Cynthia,

Well, the election is over, and I am so glad that I no longer will have to arrive home to see the light blinking on my answering machine indicating I have five messages, all of which are somebody telling me that I should vote. I am also glad that the many people who have been pounding on our door will leave us alone for a while. Yesterday, I received both a phone call and a visit asking me if I knew if my HUSBAND was going to be voting or not. When I mentioned this to dh, he thought it was odd that my vote didn't seem to matter, and he thought perhaps I should remind them that women in this country DO have the right to vote now. In fact, I voted, because I am a competent, conscientious, and concerned citizen -- not because I was reminded dozens of times that it is important to vote.

Anyway, here is just a thought for anybody who campaigns - "efficiency", that's the ticket. Coordinate your efforts. If I am being contacted dozens of times, then there are probably people who aren't being contacted "at all". And, if somebody thinks that having Josh Lyman from West Wing tell my answering machine how I should vote will help me decide which space on the ballot to fill in, then I'm actually quite insulted. Okay, end of rant. Like I said, I am so glad it is over. Now, back to the normally scheduled commercials on tv.....

Here is the scarf for my little guy so far. It is about halfway done. I'm hoping to make it at least 48 inches long, though not sure....I started with only about 240 yards of yarn. It is the Yarn Harlot's pattern, except I cast on only 22 stitches. It lays very flat, which I like, and it is a nice fabric which doesn't hog the yarn too much, yet looks interesting...

I'm also slowly progressing on Hardangervidda -- completed 31 out of 55 pattern rows on the upper body. Pictures of that in my next post.

Gotta run!
Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

We interrupt this program...

Dear Cynthia,

No post about the three sweater challenge today. It's the weekend, and with dh home, it means no progress on Hardangervidda, anyway....

So, I'm interrupting my regularly scheduled knitting to take care of something more pressing. My four year old son doesn't have a scarf. His mother is a knitter, so I don't know how this can be. But it is, and this weekend I was determined to do something about it. I talked with him about it. He told me he wanted a yellow scarf....just a plain yellow scarf.

I showed him many nice ideas for scarves which I really, really wanted to make, such as this, or anything on this page. He looked through one of my knitting books. He disappeared for a couple of minutes, and came back with this drawing. It's a little bit hard to make out, because he drew it with a yellow crayon. (He really is fixated on yellow.) Anyway, he told me that this is the kind of scarf he wanted. Just plain, and yellow, apparently having a little bit of fringe on the ends... No geckos, no snakes.

So, I was thinking about when I might have a chance for a trip to the yarn store...when lo and behold, at the Farmers' Market yesterday morning, there was a vendor selling yarn. It's not merino, or anything like that, but it's produced locally (which I often try to support), and there was some which had a bit of a yellow hue to it, and after just purchasing gobs of "popcorn on the cob" to make into little kits for Christmas gifts for teachers and some friends, I was in a "wow, I'm taking care of so many things this morning here at the Farmers' Market" kind of a mode, so my four year old picked out a hank and we were on our way. Later, however, and even though my little guy traipsed around with that yarn the rest of the morning as though it was a treasure, I started thinking about how he really did want yellow, just a plain yellow scarf, and though the yarn had a hint of yellow, it had not been dyed, and perhaps I should have listened better to the little guy. So, this morning after church, we picked up some "orange" Crystal Light, and did a little "Kool Aid Dying". (Once in the past, we tried to make something yellow using Kool Aid, and it didn't work very well. Then I read on Allison's blog that she had great success with achieving a vivid yellow by using the Crystal Light orange flaver.) Here it is after our dye job, and my little guy seems quite pleased with the new color.

Now it is drying, and I'm thinking about going out to get some yard work done on this glorious fall day. The sun is shining, the temperature is mild, and for anybody who hasn't finished planting bulbs yet (ahem), today might be one of the last chances.....

Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)