Saturday, December 31, 2011

Day 364 - How I Spent My Day Off

Started off the day replacing six damaged needles.  Yes I got the kimono back finished last night.  Tonight I steam blocked it and rehung it on the needles and joined the shoulders and bound off the neck.  I have everything blocked and the sleeves are ready to be joined to the body.  So yes I made my 11.

However the best part of the day has to be the almost four hour lunch that Marjory and I spent at the Olive Garden.  Barb begged off pleading sick and not wanting to share, and she did sound awful.  So we decided that soup and salad were the way to go.  We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and spent the time catching up on life in general, family and old acquaintances. 

We both decided that we really hadn't been in the mood to deal with Christmas this year, if not for her husband there would have been no decorations or a tree at her house.  I countered with a Norfolk Island pine with a handful of German paper stars as my tree, the presents that didn't get wrapped and that there were no cookies despite having laid in a large supply of butter, eggs, sugar and flour.  She was in the same boat with the cookies.  Our best guess is that it's simply been too dark and gloomy, hello solstice and the wettest year on record, for either one of us to get in the holiday spirit. 

We agreed that we both needed to exercise more and I suggested that we look into finding an after work program that we could both tolerate and try doing it together.  I know from experience that I'm much more likely to stick with it, if I have someone else to feed off of.  Hopefully we can find something reasonable somewhere between Grandview and Grove City.

I spent what remained of the day paying bills and running errands, still no movement on the part of the insurance company.  I did talk to the doctors office and passed on the information I received last night.  I think my next stop is HR. 

All in all not a bad day off.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day 363

It dawns on me that in a couple of days the 11 for 11 challenge will be over, and I'm going to have to be more clever with titles.   Oh well.

I was amused earlier this evening realize that I was running around the house with a hank of yarn draped around my body like a bandolier.  Purple alpaca as ammo belt.  hahaha

Successfully cast on the back of the kimono.  DAK will be doing it's thing to control the patterning this evening.  I was surprised to see that I had trashed a needle on the ribber bed while knitting the hem.  Since I don't have to get up for work in the morning, I'm planning on staying with it until it's complete.  Yeah, three day weekend. 

Lunch with Marjory and Barb tomorrow.  It'll be like old times.  It's been about ten years since we all worked together.  And months since we've all been in the same place at the same time.  There will be much laughter to share.

My good news for the day is that I don't have any broken bones in my wrist.  It only took them a week to let me know.  The bad news is that the insurance company is still refusing to authorize the nsaid that was prescribed on the 21st.  This wrist is never going to heal if we can't get the inflammation under control without making me nauseous or trashing my kidneys.  I've expressed my frustration to the insurance company today.  I am severely right handed.  I want this blasted brace off my hand soon.

Saw this on the BBC feed today.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Day 362

Knitting resumed on the sweater back.  It relaxed me to the point that I almost fell asleep after about 45 minutes of knitting.  Knitting is the new yoga... at least for me.  Looking forward to Friday off work and lunch with a couple of my former co-workers. 

Winter has arrived here and with it my collection of sweaters.  Since I work near the entrance to the store and the overhead doors, I wear ski sweaters almost every day.  My supervisor asked today if I had made my sweater, (Dale of Norway, Salt Lake City).  He wanted to know if I had knit all the little people too.  Now most of the day shift has seen me working on sweaters. I usually bring them in while I'm working on the last bit of handwork or weaving in ends, so it's no secret that I knit.  I was kind of surprised this morning since he's seen me work on two other Dale sweaters since I've been there. 

How was your day?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day 361 - Not Knitting

Resting my hands after the push the last several weeks.  Spent some time looking at Ravelry but not really tempted.  My Schacht Matchless is now front and center in the living room, and I have to admit I was tempted to try to turn some purple fluff into singles.  But I'm still focused on finished the sweater. 

Frustrating drive home tonight, the weather is turning from endless rain to snow and the truck decides at the light to hesitate and I managed to flood it.  So I sit for a whole cycle of the light, trying to get it to start without draining the battery.  And when it started I decided to bag it, head home and swap out the truck for the car.  No sliding into work on Columbus' unplowed streets in the morning.

Two more days of work then a three day weekend and lunch with Barb and MT.  It'll be almost like old times, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day 360

The year is winding down, only five days left.  I really did not want to get up for work this morning.  And all week long there will only be two of us on any given day.  One person is on vacation and the rest of us are rotating a day off as paid holiday, aka New Years Day.  I get Friday and a three day weekend. 

I'm trying really hard this evening to make a CD for a friend and the computer keeps telling me there are problems.  It shouldn't be this difficult.  It keeps refusing to acknowledge that there is a blank one in the drive.

I working on Robin's sweater.  About twelve rows into the back yoke.  Garter stitch in sock yarn takes awhile to to knit several inches.  Less pressure than there was on Saturday.  Hoping to have it put together by the weekend. 

Day 359 - Fröhliche Weihnachten

Christmas wishes via text message from a friend far away started the day off right. Not a cookie was baked, nor a gift wrapped, yet the day was still great.  Some whines from a child wanting springerle or lebkuchen.  But that happens. The mittens were a hit.  The scarf kit less so.  The sweater was appreciated and handed back for completion.

My sister gave me a framed piece of needle punch of a flock of sheep and a bell jar for a house plant.  Now I need to find an appropriate plant.  There was knitting on a scarf and work on the sweater, but much more food, wine and good conversation.  Overall a great day.

Hope yours was too.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Day 358 Christmas Eve

Mom told me on the way home from church tonight that Dad had gone out and bought her Christmas present this morning, but that she had forgotten to get him something. And in fact had forgotten what he said he wanted.  I offered to go online and order him a TSC gift card.

When we got to the house she said something about getting him a new chore coat, and he said he didn't need one and pulled a new Carhardt out of the closet.  Then he pulled me aside and said that Mom had told him that she wanted perfume for Christmas.  He had gone to the drugstore but didn't know which one.  Did I know how to pick perfume?  My advice was smell them and pick one you like.  His solution was to hand me cash so I could pick something out.  This was after 9 tonight.

Now I know that my mom likes Chanel No. 5.  They sell don't that at Walgreens.  And my Dad confessed tonight that he sent home lots of Chanel when he was stationed in France in the 1950's.  He says it was $15 a bottle in France and $50 a bottle in the US at the time, so all the women in the family loved it.  I pointed out that Chanel was a bit more expensive than that these days.

White Diamonds is what she will be getting tomorrow.  His gift card will arrive in the mail.  Me I still need to finish a mitten and wrap everything.  The sweater will be in pieces and on the needles.  Three out of four pieces are complete.

Hope your Christmas Eve is wonderful and Christmas is joyous.  Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Day 357

The pile of purple alpaca continues to grow.  Two pieces to go and I'm starting worry if there will be enough yarn.  Plan is to knit the back and the see what's left.  I can make it work if the band has to be a different dyelot, although I'm kicking myself, since Barb from Weaver's Loft asked me in September if I was sure I had enough.  She had held a hank in that dyelot back just in case.  Silly me, I told her to sell it.

We'll see.  Yes I made my 11.

Bake quiche for dinner and dug through the stacks of books looking for titles for Marcus and Sandy.  Marc should be busy for a while.  Still looking for a title for Sandy.

Still hoping to get something close to finished on the sweater, so I'm off to knit some more.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Day 356 - 9 Days to Go

There are nine days left in Heather's 11 Minutes for 2011 Challenge.  Nine days of celebrating the joys of fiber related craft and skills.  Have I found it difficult? No, not really I was already pretty firmly addicted to the stuff.  My major challenge has always been documenting it.  I still need to get better about taking pictures of the process rather than just the product.  And I think that's more of an issue of me forcing myself to find some way to make the photos interesting.

Has my writing improved?  You'll have to tell me.  I know that technically I'm a fairly decent writer.  I can actually spell and generally punctuate a sentence correctly.  That doesn't mean that I'm necessarily interesting.  I'm a long time member of the short and sweet club, so I find it somewhat difficult to write volumes on a topic.  I don't talk that way but writing, oh yeah. 

Did I make my 11 today.  Oh yes.  I worked on the sweater yoke at lunch.  And have spent the evening MK a sleeve for the kimono and have started the cast on of it's mate.  Do I think I'll get the Christmas knitting finished in time?  I think it will be tight.  Mittens yes.  Sweater maybe.  Kimono, not assembled before Sunday but probably knit.  3 pieces done, 3 to go.  This employment thing this year has really thrown off my holiday rhythm.  Think about it, I basically have had December pretty wide open for the last several years.  This is a good thing, but I need to adapt.

I hope that your holiday prep is going well.

Comments on the blog.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day 355 - Light

It's the longest night of the year.  For the next six months the days will only grow longer.  And we welcome the return of the light.

Real candles are glowing in my house. They perfume the air and hold back the dark.

When you look across history, regardless of faith, this is a significant time of the year.  While here in the northern hemisphere the coldest days of winter are yet to come, this is the darkest night and with the return of the light comes hope.  In the tenets of my faith the birth of a child is the symbol of this hope.  And we still celebrate this hope more than two thousand years later.

 Regardless of your beliefs, I wish you and yours the most joyous times in this holiday season.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day 354 - Mission Accomplished

This is the center point of the front of the sweater.  Shaped and short rowed garter stitch form the yoke.  All of the MK is done.  Only handwork remains.  It will be a challenge, but I think it is possible.

This is slowing everything down.  I am overwhelmingly right handed.  Yes I can knit in it.  No it doesn't hurt.  But everything is slowed because of it.

Day 353 - Late

While I wrote the  Podcasting for Machine Knitters post earlier in the evening and had in the back of my mind that I needed to write this one, I forgot about it until after I had shut down the computer and was ready for sleep.

My evening was spent MK the back of Robin's sweater.  Knitting and ripping and knitting and ripping, replacing dropped stitches and reknitting, before I finally got it off the machine around 11:30.  I was determined to get to bed at a reasonable time.  I did get the front on to a set of circular needles and started to work the garter stitch yoke.  I'm reading Todd McCaffery's Dragongirl while I knit.  Think about it, it's basically mindless garter stitch, I need something to keep me focused so I don't get bored and lose interest.

I have Tuesday off and plan on getting the sleeves knit and set aside and just maybe get some work done on the kimono too. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Day 352

Spent the morning weaving in ends.  At least 3 FO and one of them a Christmas present.  Went to write the pattern for my sister's sweater only to discover that the computer had somehow ate her size chart.  Off to remeasure her. 

Pattern written and sweater cast on.  Not really sure why I thought full figure shaping was a good idea, but almost to the waist and then back out again.  I want to have this piece off the machine tonight so I can HK the short row garter stitch yoke at lunch tomorrow. 

I did get the balls on the redbud this afternoon.  It may be the only tree that gets decorated this year.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Day 351

Stockings finished blocked and delivered.  Done.  Christmas cards signed, addressed and in the mail.

The original is on the bottom.

Found the yarn for Robin's sweater and have swatched a hank.  Made the mistake of steaming it and the numbers are all over the place.  Back into warm water to reset the yarn.  I should cast on another piece of the kimono while I'm waiting for it to dry.

Yes, I've made my 11.

Day 350

One stocking done, one with duplicate stitch about 25% and blocking and seaming to go.  Have to turn them in tomorrow, but I should have this little bit done before they open.

I picked the Christmas card shot last night, submitted it electronically for printing too.  It was supposed to be done by 11.  When I went in at 6 pm they hadn't started printing it.  What the heck did I pay for?  I think they gave me extra prints as some form of compensation.  Cards to sign, address and post after the stocking delivery tomorrow.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Day 349

The hand was so bad that I called the doctor about noon.  I was shocked to get in almost immediately.  Turns out that today was the day they were switching to a digital system to comply with the new federal regs.   Based on the fun my doctor was having getting my exam/symptoms into the system, it really doesn't work that well.  Diagnosis, tendon damage of some form.  Back in the wrist brace around the clock and much better pain killers for this pass.  If it isn't improving in a week, I get to go back.  Turns out that I was doing every thing right, it just didn't heal.

Before and after.  After needs blocked and seamed as well as a name.  But really close.

I selected and sent off the Christmas card shot for this year.  I should be able to pick them up after work tomorrow. I culled the card list and need to print labels and find stamps and they can go out Saturday morning.  It's been 3 years since I could afford to send out cards.  Hopefully people enjoy the image as much as I did shooting it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day 348

Tired after an evening with knitters and food.  We shared projects and our winter potluck.  The stocking is ready to have the ends woven in. 

My right wrist is trashed.  Don't know what's wrong, but a trip to the doctor is in order.  It's getting painfully worse not better.  If it turns out to be broken, I'm going to be so pissed and screwed.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day 347

HK of stockings finished.  Weaving in ends to resume immediately, followed by embroidery and seaming.  I want these done and gone.

I need to figure out where the aubergine yarn for Robin's sweater went.  I evidently organized it into hiding.

I made my 11 for the day and have plans for tomorrow.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Day 346 - Minimal Fiber Time

A splitting headache that motrin couldn't touch made for a long afternoon.  No knitting time at lunch.  I did manage to get past the gussets and into the instep of the stocking, and that's about it for the day.  I am looking around for the yarn for Robin's sweater.  Looks like my cleaning spree over the weekend may have been too efficient.  sigh...

How was your progress?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day 345 - Stockings

All stockings, all day.  I started weaving in the ends on the first on and have knit the heel flap and started the gussets on the second one.  I made my 11 and not much else today.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Day 344 - Burning Things

What do you do when you have a collection of unidentified yarn?  First you estimate how much of it you have, and then you burn a piece to sort out what it's made of.

For the first part of the equation, find a McMoran balance. 

Cut a small length of the mystery yarn and hang it on the notched arm of the balance.  Cut off wee bits until the arms balance.

Measure the piece and multiple by 100 to get how many yards per pound (YPP).  Then weigh the remainder and do the math.  (I know MATH is a dirty word.)

To get fairly good idea of what the yarn is made of requires burning a piece and observing how it burns, what it looks like, what it smells like and what is left.  See the chart here.  Note do this somewhere you won't catch the house or anything else on fire.  And burning yarn can really stink, so keep that in mind too.

Using these techniques, I managed to get my remaining cones of yarn cataloged and sorted into storage bins to go in the studio. 

I also finished the intarsia and MK on the second stocking and it is ready to have the heel knit.  So I have rocked my 11 today. (And really early too.)

Anyone else have mystery yarn in the stash?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Day 343 - Busy Day, Evening to Unwind

Busy, busy, day at work.  I was supposed to cut out by 2 and avoid the requirement for a lunch break.  By 1:30 it was obvious that that plan wasn't going to work, so I grabbed a 30 minute lunch, and went back to face the afternoon.  Despite my best efforts to hole up and finish what I needed to complete, I kept getting called away to help answer questions.  I pointed out to the ASM who pulled me away at one point that while I was happy to help, I was really trying to get finished with the quotes I was working on to avoid OT.  I flat out asked if she would approve my OT for the week and she agreed.  My supervisor thought that was one of the cleverer things I could have done as it got him off the hook.  Finally clocked out around 4, and headed off to meet my best friend at our monthly hair appointments.  Spent about 3 hours unwinding at the stylist's and came home with a wavy mane.

I did work on the stocking on the machine tonight but ripped out and reknit almost every row I put in due to dropped stitches.  Exercise in frustration was what it was quickly becoming, so I gave up for the night in favor of blogging.  Giving up on blogging in favor of sleep.

Hope your holiday knitting is going well.

Comments on the blog.

Day 342 - Progress

I more than made up for yesterday.  I worked my way through the gusset on the foot of the stocking at lunch.  I MK past the garter stitch details on the second stocking this evening.  And I managed to empty the three trash bags of quarantined yarns and got most of them sorted, cataloged and into storage bins.  I have about a dozen unidentified cones left to go.  I'll did out my McMoran balance to figure out the yardage and the bins can go into the studio.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day 341

Our holiday party had an unexpected visitor in the form of the candidate for our new minister.  She's very nice, and listens well.  Even with our familial habit of talking over each other at times.  She preaches for the congregation on Sunday and we will be voting on extending a call at that time. Thus should be interesting.

While I took my knitting with me, no knitting was done.  So I'm reluctant to claim that I actually made 11 today.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 340 - Happy Birthday

My Grandpa would have been 105 today.  One of at least 7 kids, he left school at around age 12 when his father died, so he could go to work to help support the family.  He never graduated from high school, but was a voracious reader and self educated in a variety of areas.  The picture above is from my parents wedding in 1960, that's my Grandpa on the right.  He would have been about 54 at the time.

An avid gardener with his own heated greenhouse, he encouraged his grandchildren to plan their own gardens and pored over the seed catalogs with us every winter while we schemed about what we wanted to try.  He taught us how to prepare/mix our own planting medium and start the seeds in the greenhouse even while there was still snow on the ground.  We learned how transplant seedlings and harden them off to get them ready to transplant to the garden after the danger of frost had passed. 

He encouraged us to try to wildest things. I remember the years that we decided to try grow peanuts.  We live in Ohio.  This is not a state known for peanut production.  But we studied what information we could find and picked a variety with a relatively short growing cycle.  We were so happy when we dug them up and actually had something to harvest.  We dried them, then roasted them in Grandma's oven.   It wasn't an earth shattering amount but we had actually grown and roasted our own peanuts and we had something that we grown with our own hands to give Dad for Christmas that year.  Before organic/no pesticide gardening was ever a concept, we were mixing smelly African marigolds with the green beans in an attempt to discourage bean beetles.  Dad was taking over planting and maintaining the garden about that time and was a bit skeptical about the whole thing, but went along with it anyway.  

When I was bored one summer, I decided to tear my bicycle completely apart and put it back together, just to see how it worked.  He supervised and helped when I needed it, but for the most part let me figure it out on my own. 

Basically he supported  us in what ever thing we decided to explore.  He's been gone since 1980.  I was a sophomore in high school and in truth he had been gone for about 6 months before his heart finally gave out that spring.  One of the last things we did together before he got sick that last time was plant Queen of the Night black tulips along his driveway and outside the window where he sat and watched the birds at the feeders.  When I bought my own house in 1991, one of the first things I planted was Queen of the Night tulips along my front walk and they are still there every spring. When I look at my yard and garden I know that I am definitely my grandfather's granddaughter.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 339 - We Can't Count

Somewhere along the line, we lost count.  There are 365 days in the year.  And 31 days in December.  Today is the 5th.  365-31+5=339.  oops.

I knit  the heel flap of the stocking while my best friend and I sat around after dinner working on Christmas stuff.  She was embroidering the names on her grandchildren's stockings, me working on the commission.  Both of us catching up on life.  It was a good evening. Yes I made my 11.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day 336

Cast on the second stocking of the pair.  Ready to start the intarsia, so getting through Santa's beard and the garter stitch is my goal for the evening. 

I did get the systemic pest control applied to all the house plants currently living on the front porch.  I need to bring them in before the snow flies and time is getting short. 

I did get the amaryllis bulb planted and will probably plant the paperwhites when the potting mix cools off.  (Add hot water to a blob of compressed potting mix)  Poof. But too hot for the bulbs.  I need to find some gravel or maybe marbles to put on top of them to keep them in the pot.  They should bloom by Christmas.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day 335 - Two Stockings

I reworked the first stocking as I didn't like how close to the seam the picture ended up.  So I ripped it back and rehung it on the machine and reknit it. 

The stocking with the deadline went back to the LYS for some additional instructions.  All agreed that the yarn provided, while a dead on color match, cannot be knit to the same gauge.  The LYSO will consult with the client to determine priority, color or size match.  I brought home additional yarn in DK weight on the chance that size will be the deciding factor.  That way I won't have to go back.  Need a decision ASAP as this baby is due on the 12th.

Courtney planted my bulbs and since I didn't watch, I'll be surprised to see the colors come spring.  I brought home an amaryllis bulb and more paperwhites from the grocery today.  I really want blooms in the house. I need to bring the rest of the houseplants in for the winter.  The dining room is going to get crowded in a hurry.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Day 334 - Not Much

The reply back on the email said to make it the same size as the original.  But we had been talking about 2 different patterns that need to be duplicated.  So which one.  Guess I need to make a trip into the shop in the am. 

Other than that and reading knit blogs there has been little fiber happening here today.  Long day at work, followed by stupid letter in the mail that required an immediate response.  Only to be told that I was "too ignorant to understand" what I had read.  OK talk to my attorney.  End of discussion. 

But tomorrow is the weekend and fiber abounds...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day 333 - Waiting

On answers regarding the priority stocking and gauge.  So work continues on the mitten.  

Knitting Christmas ornaments arrived in the post today, tempting me for a short couple of minutes to consider setting up a tree so I could hang them.  The quick realization that there is NO instant gratification when it comes to decorating the tree, nipped that idea in the bud.

Back to the mitten...