Sunday, November 25, 2007

Apparently, you can have too much yarn!

Okay, so I haven't blogged about it much. Only a phrase or so but DH was deployed to Iraq for the past year or so. He just got back and so we are steadily getting back into the swing of things. Let me describe this. First, you have the initial honeymoon period. Oh, I missed you so much, etc etc. This lasts a few days to a week. Then, you have the he/she's really beginning to irritate me period. Give that a month. Mostly it goes like this: Why does he put unrinsed dishes in the non-garbage disposal side of the sink?? Grrr! Finally, you have the okay we won't kill each other because we have a good time together period. DH and I are currently in the Irritate period but that's okay. We've been thru this before and once you get past a month or so, you get to being back to normal. As proof of the irritation period, I offer you the following tidbit from DH to me in regards to yarn.
DH: "You know, we really have to talk about the amount of yarn you have."
Me: "What?" Feigns look of complete innocence and ponders current rate of knitting and potential hiding spots.
DH: "Um, it's a lot of yarn." Looks at me earnestly.
Me: "Hmmm, I guess it is." Avoiding eye contact like crazy.
DH:" Okay, here's the thing. You just can't buy anymore yarn until you've used up most of what you have. Your yarn is taking over the house. Also, when you go in Barnes & Nobles, you need to only leave with a cup of coffee and one book or magazine."
Me: Stunned silence. Mulling over amounts of yarn while thoroughly disregarding the low blow B&N comment. In a moment of rare concession, the following phrase popped out of my mouth before I could stop it. I was feeling all diplomatic and crap. : "Okay, I"ll concede I need to use at least 75% of my current stash before I get anymore but that doesn't preclude yarn gifts. As far as B&N, we don't have one here locally so I refuse to address that at this time."
Now, I have to quit blogging because I apparently have agreed to use a buttload of yarn up before I can buy more. Must quit typing and begin knitting. Later, Alicia

Sunday, November 18, 2007

On death and life.

All day Thursday I had a prickly uneasy feeling. Something wasn't right. Bank accounts were okay, kids and hubby were okay. I hadn't forgotten about anything really important. The prickly uneasy feeling wouldn't go away. I pushed it aside and waiting for the inevitable moment I would find out why I had it. The next morning, about 6:15 am, my mom called and I found out what the feeling was all about. My grandma had passed away in her sleep the night before. Her health had been bad and it was a miracle she lasted as long as she did after the stroke. Still, I'm not sure why it hit me so hard. Today was her funeral. I don't want to talk about it too much. I just want to say some stuff about my grandma. Her name was Leitha Powers nee Bryan. She was a very accomplished gardener. I don't think there was a thing that she couldn't plant that wouldn't grow. Her home was always meticulously clean. She worked hard as hell all her life. Despite the fact that she never learned to drive, she traveled more than anyone I know. She made beautiful quilts for all of us granddaughters by hand. She loved a good soap opera. She could fry up fish, make biscuits and cookies. She was a great lady and I miss her. That's all I have to say today.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

As the world turns..and turns, and turns

Okay, been awhile but that's really nothing new! DH will be home soon!! Yay!! That's the good stuff. The bad stuff, my grandma had a stroke and is recovering. Well, it's not really all bad because they initially did not expect her to survive. She's starting to come around though. That's my grandma. She's tough! I cannot tell you the tears I shed and the anxiety I've had over this. I know that she's had a great life and all but she's my grandma. I would go to her house in the summer time and snap purple hull peas while drinking iced tea and eating fried apple pies. I really have to learn how to make those pies. She rolls the dough paper thin and fills it with the cooked apples and fries them up. Yeah, we can even make fruit fattening in the south. We haven't met a food yet that we haven't found a way to fry. Best part is, those pies are good!! See, this is why I exercise. I'd be as big as a house if I didn't. Let's face it, I'm not giving up fried pies any time soon. My grandma also hand quilted quilts for all of us granddaughters. My Mom still keeps my quilt. Apparently at 33, I'm still not responsible enough to have it. My grandma is a great gardener too. She loves flowers and plants. I used to play in her rose garden and pretend I was a princess. I have a zillion other stories about my grandma. She's really a neat person and incredibly resourceful. I can only hope to be just a little like her. Okay, before I start getting all teary again, I'm going to move on to knitting news. I've finished a good many things up since I last blogged. Let's start it off with the Somewhat Cowl. Okay, I dig it a lot. I used Elann's yarn--I think it was highland silk. Anyway, it was a nice yarn even if it was a bit splitsy. It has to be nice and cool for me to wear it though. Any sign of heat and I get itchy. Now, the pattern is nice and Wendy has added some changes to get a better fit. That said, you have to use your brain when you knit this if you want a good fit. That means stopping and trying it on to determine if you need to make any pattern adjustments. I like that because I get a custom fit. If you want some mindless knitting, this may not be it. Don't get me wrong, there are mindless parts of it because it is stockinette but you do have to watch it in some criticial areas for proper fit. Overall, I like the pattern and the yarn. I'd recommend it. Next up, Not your standard issue sweatshirt. Okay, I'd been dying to knit this for awhile. I used Knit Picks Main Line for the yarn sub. Okay, let me say now that I really like most of knit picks' yarn and haven't been dissatisfied yet. This particular just isn't my favorite though it does have some good qualities. The colors are nice and it is reasonably soft with good stitch definition. The down side is that it seems to show wear very quickly. My sweater has a soft fuzzy halo to it already. That might be okay to some it just wasn't what I expected. So, while I love their other yarn, this particular one is not my favorite. I dont' hate it but I can't say I love it. On to the pattern. It's well written and an interesting knit. The only part that I didn't like was the hood so I left it off. It came up too short and was very pointy. Has anyone perfected the knit hood? There just has to be a better way. I had to do a do over on the seaming but that had nothing to do with the pattern. Let's just say I remember why I prefer knitting in the round. Overall, I'd recommend the pattern sans the hood. You can decide whether you would use main line or not. It was an economical alternative for my purposes but I'd recommend buying a skein and swatching it to see if you like it despite the drawbacks. So, what's on my needles now? Well, lots of stuff! To my kids' amazement, I'm knitting them some stuff. Yeah, I normally only knit for myself but the kids are big martin mystery fans so I've designed a cardi based on his shirt. I'm using Knit picks Swish in red pepper and some bare I dyed yellow. Let me tell you, this is the softest yarn! Even my youngest, who screeches if he touches wool, loves it! The pattern is my own so I'll let you know how it goes, The other kids knit is EZ's moebius vest. I'm using some handspun from a CVM named Andy. I got his fleece from Shepherdchik (her fleece rocks!). The fleece is really springy and is knitting up nicely despite my beginner's thick and thin spinning. I dyed the fleece a blue color that didn't turn out at all how I expected. I actually hated the color but my oldest liked so I decided to make the boy's a vest from it. I've also started the icelandic lace shawl using a kit from Sarah's yarns. I love buying from her. She ships so fast! I'm mulling over which of my own designs to get going on next. I might put the names in a hat and draw them out. Who knows? So, until later, take it easy! Alicia