knitdds: thoughts on knitting, food, life

I’m sure there are people out there, that exist, that can simultaneously read and knit. That might be my dream existence, but at the moment, as a knitting novice (relatively speaking), it’s not happening.

I’ve had this idea going around in my head for a while, though, about how I’d like to start a book club for knitters. Not that I’d exclusively limit the group to knitters, but for those projects that we all have (i.e. the interminable baby blanket) where we’d rather talk or remove our eyeballs with coffee spoons, shouldn’t we be part of a group of serenely intellectual people who have all just read the same, interesting book and happen to knit? The conversation at my SnB, when I went, was certainly enjoyable. But it would have been nice, on those days when conversation was scarce or people were concentrating, to have had a topic of discussion. And the more interesting intellectual people I meet, the more I want to harrass them about what they’re reading and what their all time favorite books are, so I can get into reading them.

The last book club I tried to join, I left after a single meeting because 70% of the people present (only 5 total) hadn’t finished the book, and when the ending counts, as it does in the Kite Runner, you want to DISCUSS, and I COULDN’T. Why? Because the other people “didn’t want to spoil the ending” for the people who didn’t finish. Can you understand why I chose not to join the group? If I hadn’t read the ending of the book, I would ASSUME that everyone was planning on discussing the ending and I would suck it up if I had the ending spoiled for me. Because that’s how these things work.

So, what do you guys think? Are knitters too busy knitting to discuss books? Or to read? As a dentist, some days my hands are just too tired to knit. . .so that’s mostly when I read. Are there any chicago knitters out there who would be willing to take up the challenge of knitting and discussing fantastic fiction? (or non-fiction?). Speak up, darlings.


{September 24, 2006}   Booties delivered, White Sox Win!

Sweet home ChicagoContrary to the title of this post, I’m not really a White Sox fan. But I do absolutely adore baseball, and when I received tickets from a certain brilliant employer of mine I couldn’t say no, because let’s face it, how often do I get to go to baseball games?

 Before I get around to that part of the story, let me show you how adorable the recipient of my teeny tiny fuzzy booties is:

 Michael and his booties!Big sister and baby brother

Isn’t he adorable? This kid is going to be super, duper tall though. Mom says he’s already wearing a 6 month size outfit, and he’s only 6 WEEKS old. Daddy’s tall, really tall, so maybe he’s on his way! We had breakfast yesterday morning with the whole family, just to hang out and cuddle the baby and enjoy. The other picture is with his proud big sister (you can see Daddy’s hand helping to hold his head up, big sis is only 2).

 So, back to the baseball game: Again, not a White Sox fan. More of a general Chicago fan. I can cheer for the Cubs or the White Sox, just as long as they’re not playing my beloved Yankees. But wow, it was fun. Even with the rain delay (1 1/2 hours worth). And the White Sox won vs. the Mariners, (who should know how to play in the rain), and as we headed out to the parking lot it started to rain, AGAIN. Which brings me to the skyline picture, above, (boy did I try to get it down here on the post but the blog software must be misbehaving), taken from the deck of Comiskey. . .er, US Cellular Field aka “The Cell”. I had no idea the park had such a stunning view of the city, and honestly, with the thunderstorms threatening in the distance, I wish I could have given you the panoramic view.

OH. . .the other great thing about yesterday was, with a little help from KnitMongrel, I learned to kitchener stitch, and finished up one of my moral imperative socks! Also, thanks to the rain delay and my vegetative state after the game, I am well into the heel flap of moral imperative sock #2. Woo hoo! Socktoberfest here I come.

{September 22, 2006}   Sock yarn!!!

So, I went to Arcadia Knitting, on Lawrence near Ashland, which is easily the sexiest yarn store I’ve ever been in, and there I was puttering around with my darling friend who I shouldn’t love for dragging me there.

 Me: I don’t need any more yarn. The husband will complain. I have too much in my stash already.

Her: Well, I have a yarn wall, and you don’t hear MY husband complain. .  Can’t you just sneak it in when he’s not home?

Me: Nah, he would notice. Remember, I live in a one bedroom apartment? Listen, you shop, I’m just going to browse. I have a thousand projects that I already have yarn for, I definitely don’t need yarn.

Her: Me neither. . . .except. . .Hello, luscious! (this to a Lorna’s Laces worsted). . . oh. . .mmm. . .ahhhh. . .

Me: Really, I don’t. . .oh, that’s so soft. . .

Her: I don’t really need this except. . .well, I could make up a really good project to use this yarn. . .what about a sweater for my baby sister. . .maybe just 10 skeins of it. . .

Me: (walking over to the discount bin and picking up two sweet, lonely balls of ridiculously pretty yarn in two different colors that I can’t imagine a current use for) Look at these! I could. . .knit something with them. Hey! Don’t you have that “One Skein” book? Could I borrow it? Then I could find something to do with this stunning green cotton and this soft white sequined Adrienne Vittadini. . .

Her: (apparently preparing to make sweet, sweet love to the yarn) Ooooh, I’m definitely taking these. . .let me see what else there is here.

Shop lady: Get yer hot, fresh sock yarn here!! Sock yarn! Fresh outta the bag!! (As we nearly get whiplash trying to divine from whence come the voices that are calling us, we are presented with the drool-worthy sight of skein after skein of sock yarn being piled onto a table).

Her: (experienced sock knitter that she is) Ohhhh yeah, I’m going to take some of that.

Me: (attempting to be cooler than I really am by thinking I could actually make my first pair of socks out of this exceptional yarn) I. . .don’t. . .need. . .ohhhhh. Look at that.

Yummy sock yarn

There’s no choice here, is there? I must take that home. Ring ’em up!

And with that story of its adoption, I humbly present to you my Socktoberfest yarn, to be made into a Christmas gift for someone I really love. Hell, if I can’t get it done by then, she can always get it as a birthday present.

Yarn: The Great Adirondack Yarn Company “Soxie”, in Spring Garden. 100% Merino superwash, 360 yards in this stunning hank.

Here’s a closeup:Close-up sock yarn

I bought #1 dpns. Frankly, I’m scared. They’re metal, and they kind of look like the dental instruments I use every day.

I guess all I need now is a pattern. Something beginner friendly. I did have the very good sense to purchase the Charlene Schurch book, so I’ll have to dive into that. Cross your toes for me.

{September 21, 2006}   Must see knitting tv?

I must admit, I had a moment of terror this week when I realized that I might have a dinner meeting that coincided with the season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy. Now, I haven’t joined the Grey’s KAL, which is ok. One KAL is ok for now, I’m new at this. And, lucky me, my dinner meeting is NEXT week. Now, all I need is TiVo. Ha.

But, since I did NO knitting so far today (My boss and I had a big planning meeting), I thought I’d leave you all with this video from Booga J’s website. Those of you who are knitters might be tickled, just a little, by how desperate our obsessions can become.

{September 20, 2006}   I joined a KAL!!

 For those of you who, like me, are learning about the wonderful world of blogs, KAL is a knit-a-long (hyphens only placed for sake of Acronym understanding, I think “Along” should be its own word). Apparently, in October, I’m going to knit socks! I do have some stunnning, stunning sock yarn that I think I’ll make as a gift for someone that I really love, who’s a knitter, and therefore she will appreciate the joys of socks knitted especially for her feet. Click on the thumbnail to go sign up.

The ugly truth of the matter, is that as a Packers fan, my beloved boys are going to have a rough, rough year. Our spirits are indomitable, and the Bears still S_CK, but I can’t do much else with this season except watch, and knit. And so I don’t cry, I think socks will be a good project. (sigh) At least the Yankees will take me to the postseason.

{September 19, 2006}   Inspiration strikes me down!

I swear, just when I think that I don’t need any more projects to do, along comes something else that I’m dying to try. I need wayyyyy more time on my hands (or, 8 hands like Kali, can’t wait to buy one of those shirts from Franklin!)

Well, I’ve been wandering through the blogosphere, commenting here and there, just to get a good idea of what’s out there, and I run into this on I dream of knitting. So, googling frantically, I get the idea that ages and ages ago, shibori was a fun trend that I missed out on, but screw that (says I), it looks like so much fun. Almost bobbles without the joy of knitting into a single stitch thousands of times. I have a couple of purse projects in the works to be felted that might benefit from some of that.

I always fancy myself to be the kind of person that’s on trend, but when it comes down to brass tacks, ya like what ya like and ain’t no getting around it. If something’s catchy and fun, like that OK GO song, who cares if they play it a million times until Sunday? We’ll get sick of it eventually, but until then the damn thing makes me want to kick up my heels and hit the treadmill!

I might have a teeny-weeny electronic crush on Franklin. My blog is so tedious sometimes, that I could use my own personal sheep or, for that matter, any new fuzziness in the house that isn’t my husband. Maybe THAT’S why I keep buying yarn!

I started a list today of all the projects that I have yarn for and haven’t started, and what struck me the most about it (even though I just electronically deleted it all somehow), is that I have yarn for a whole bunch of projects for myself that I’ve NEVER done. And, until I can stop knitting things for presents, I’m never going to get the ones for myself done! How do you people work this? How much do you have to love someone to knit for them? I’ve made the mistake already. . .knitted my sister in law (who I adore, and who is NOT a knitter) a lovely scarf made of silk that she promptly decided to use as a belt. Grr. My mom, who machine knits, received her scarf on Saturday and (I’m sure with the best of intentions) immediately said “Do you want to wear this for a while?” Does that mean she doesn’t like it?!?!?! I spent months on that thing! 

Enough blabbering. The husband calls, it’s time to work out.

{September 18, 2006}   Sock construction in progress!!

Cuff and heel completion of the sock

 Well, here it is, the cuff and the heel of my Lorna’s Socks in Shepherd Worsted. The pattern I’m using is from the DIY show Knitty Gritty, the “Sock it to me” episode, with Karen Baumer. Now, granted, I’m using #7 dpns (five of them, it’s just the most comfortable to me), and the yarn is big and fluffy, but until I started this whole thing I was really intimidated by the entire concept of socks. If you’re new to socks I’d highly recommend the pattern. . .the whole thing is spelled out step by step and I’m not afraid anymore! Oh, and by the way, I adore my pink plastic dpns, so no making fun of them.

I took this picture just a few days ago, and I’m already done with the side gussets and on to the foot, so hopefully it won’t be long until you see the completed project. These socks are sort of a moral imperative. This yarn is really a dream to work with. In spite of the fact that today is my day off, I’m not going to do a ton of knitting. My mom and her friend from London are coming to the city so we can be girls about town, shopping and visiting museums and such.

{September 16, 2006}   Awww. . .fuzzy

Booties!! Listen, you know you wish you could reach into the screen and touch these. . .they are unforgiveably super duper cute-and-fuzzy. I’ve got to say, they make me want to tie them to my ears and stroke my cheeks on a regular basis (that might not come off so well to my patients, though) The lace-knitting guru at Knitter’s Niche was nice enough to turn me on to this pattern, and this fantastic Lorna’s Laces Angel yarn, in Hawaii. These are going to my friend Pete’s brand new baby, hopefully, sometime before he turns 20.

 How is it that I can work my ass off on a project, block it, make it perfect, and then let it sit, rotting, on my shelf until I FINALLY get my crud together to send it out? I had a dear friend whose dad was severely injured and hospital bound. This was LAST DECEMBER. I made him a hat, by March or so. (The inspiration-to-project completion time? A month, give or take a couple of days). When did I finally get the man his hat? (unfortunately, still hospital bound and in need of said hat) TWO WEEKS AGO. Sigh. I could use the excuse that work and life suddenly became crazy, but the truth is, I’ve been a procrastinator all my life. I desperately like to pretend I’m not one and that I’m organized, since the Husband is the ultimate organizer and organized person, but the truth is, I’m just not.

 Feels good to get that off my chest to the 4 people who are actually going to read this!

{September 14, 2006}   Woo hoo!!

Mom's shawl

Um, I’m still not quite sure how I did this, but here it is, Mom’s shawl!!! It’s sort of my own pattern. . .involving a switch of needles (from #8 to #17) in the middle and dropped stitches on the ends, with a little extra fuzziness from eyelash yarn for fun and sparkle. I’ll have to get some close-ups so you can see the details, but hooray, anyway! The yarn is S. Charles Ritratto, in purple I think (I’ve had this yarn forever, purchased in NYC ages ago at Knit New York ), and the fun fuzziness is an unnamed eyelash, also purchased there, in a light greeny-blue color that makes me happy every time I add it to a project.

 This whole blogging thing is a bit addictive, and according to KnitMongrel it won’t be long before I’m obsessed. . .I think the rate-limiting factor has got to be my poor little camera, which hasn’t been pressed into service very often. Oh well. Gotta go swim, the Husband calls!

{September 14, 2006}   Playing with my balls

 Couldn’t resist this as a title for my first knitting post EVER. Credits go to KnitMongrel for the inspiration 😎 As a baby blogger, I’ve got a lot to learn to get pictures up of knitting, and maybe someday other things that inspire me (um, mostly, like food). . .so be patient while the blog undergoes construction. . .oh, and I do have so many lovely balls of yarn to play with, I’ll have to get some decent pictures of the stash up.

Currently on the needles, a baby blanket with gorgeous hand dyed wool from ewephoria yarns (the yarn still makes me happy, the actual pattern is killing me softly), and lovely, lovely socks from the Karen Baumer episode of “Knitty Gritty” using Lorna’s Laces Sheperd Worsted, in River. . .so lovely! This is my first ever attempt at socks, and surprisingly a no-mess introduction into the sock underworld. KnitMongrel claims that now, I’ll be obsessed with socks. I better be, I just bought a whole huge skein of sock yarn that I have to knit on #1’s. . .Oh, and I recently finished some ridiculously adorable booties, which are going to my friend Pete’s new baby, and a scarf which was supposed to be my mom’s 60th birthday present (uh, the actual birthday was in January, but she’s officially “celebrating” it this weekend, so I’m not really that late, right?)

 That said, perhaps now is bedtime. Because, in his ever-continuing quest to improve my life, the Husband has decreed that tomorrow is a day to go swimming. Here’s what you need to know about my husband in nutshell. #1. Biggest geek, ever. Which I completely adore him for. #2. A bit of a snob. But then, so am I. I figure, it’s not snobbery, I just know what’s nice and what’s not. Ha. #3. He’s currently functioning (above and beyond the usual husbandly duties like making me coffee in the AM and Yay!doing dishes!) in the role of my personal trainer. Which means that since this summer began, we have been working out together, and I curse him out for making me run and work out, while he is sweet and encouraging THE ENTIRE TIME. I’m not sure how this works out as a good deal for him, but he’s kept it up the entire summer without complaint, and I do feel a bit lighter on my feet as a result. Most of the time, I feel lucky to have him. . .because really, without him, I certainly wouldn’t bother. But tomorrow, seeing as how I’m sitting up all night doing my first blog post and trying really hard to upload pictures. . .well, I just better get my crap together and hit the hay.

et cetera