Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Many go out for wool, and come home shorn themselves.

First I need to say a big thanks …folks have been quite encouraging about my taking a little break. Visiting family always brings on the “no time for me” malaise. I am now freckled (no tans here), rested and ready to go.

As I mentioned yesterday I have started a new cardigan for preschool. It is Merino Style from KnitPicks in a snappy rhubarb color. The bottom rib is an easy 6 stitch cable with the cables along the button band extending to the top of the collar, if that makes sense. I am working in the round, and am still puzzling over how to handle the sleeves…I have a good three inches to go before we have to worry about it. It’ll either work out or turn into a vest. It’s Florida, who needs sleeves??

Anyway after I ordered the yarn she decided She had to have a hood. I personally have this paranoia thing about hoods getting stuck on things and hanging people. Morbid, irrational worry, but worry none the less. As a child I formed this totally illogical belief that if I could think of every terrible thing that might happen, then it wouldn’t really happen. To my seven year old brain really bad things were always total surprises. It’s left me with odd adult compulsions…nothing overwhelming, just a little nagging voice saying “but what if…?”.

So, I think I might see if I can do a button up hood along the top. Hard to describe, so here goes:

Warm? No hood required? Leave unbuttoned and you have a big collar/cape thing.

Rainy? Need a hood? Button up along the top. Presto, change-o, re-arrange-o, you have a hood.

I have done a few bad sketches and I think it will work. Only problem is I do not have enough yarn for the hood and the sleeves. For the sake of the hood I will have to carry on, and order more yarn.

Oh, the suffering.

I got all of what I have done on the cardigan was done on the way back and forth from St. Augustine. Very pretty as always.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Case of the hidden scarf

Let’s pause for a moment…the parental units have left the state.

Don’t get me wrong, it is always great to see them. But now that we have entered the Age of Preschool life is more rigid. We HAVE to be to school 30 minutes early because that’s when she gang hangs out on the playground with “her girls”. We have to have extra honey on the sandwich. We have to bring the good juice for snacks (it was our turn this week). All this takes time people.

So all this, plus the touring around of the relations leaves no time for rest, or knitting. We did get to the beach, and St. Augustine. I got a few inches done on the new school cardigan. I’ll post a picture tomorrow.

Besides, most of my active projects right now are for said parental units. So now I have to remember in my rush to clean before they arrived last week where I stashed them. I am hoping to find them as I dig out from the disaster area that is my house. Egad!

Friday, September 23, 2005

"We are undone"

Missing: wedding ring. Last seen attached to cheap black watch.

I really went missing a few months back, and I have been slowly tearing the house apart bit by bit. We think the two year old moved it somewhere, hopefully not into the trash. She has been asked about it so many times now that whenever it comes up she just says “maybe Daddy throwed it at the trash?”

I mention this because earlier today I decided that she might have stashed it into my knitting basket, so I did a good thorough cleaning to see if it was there. It is amazing how much this basket acts like a personal scrapbook - Bits of wool from the girls new mittens, the last few inches of Italian yarn from a scarf for a friend, the cotton from my daughter’s baby blanket.

I was surprised that there were so many unfinished items as well.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a chronic un-finisher. It is a smallish basket and I typically do finish the things I start in a timely manner. I buy the yarn, decide on a pattern, change the pattern beyond recognition and knit fairly quickly.

The things that lie undone were all for me. I haven’t finished any of MY projects for over a year.

This hits me as a pretty good statement on having small people rooming with us for the next 18 years. So often I do have to drop what I need to tend to a skinned knee, sick tummy, or a shoe crisis (and yes, at 2 and 4 we have them WAY too often, but I digress.)

It was interesting today to see how this accumulates over time. The caramel colored cotton cardigan, the cabled recycled-wool vest, the too skinny summer tank.

The funny thing is for the past few days I have been rather grumpy with myself, feeling bad for being selfish for being so put out for having to take care of everyone else while they were sick last weekend. Those with kids know, days with out shower, no sleep. Worst, no real time to knit! Really it is all internal grump, they were well cared for, I wasn’t selfish, but still I worry.

But looking at the knitting basket today got me started thinking about my non-knitting life. I don’t just put off my knitting, but sleep, eating right, exercise.

I think it might be time to take some time for myself. I don’t think I have actually been alone in months. Besides, winter, such as it is down here, is coming and this year I could really use a vest.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Holy Cravat Batman!



The neck part isn’t bad, but the leaf bit at the end is so poofy. I flattened it as much as I could in the picture. I have a symmetry thing, and both sides won’t go flat. The amount of blocking and steam ironing necessary to make this thing limp enough to flatten it could get me arrested for yarn abuse. The last thing I need is a visit from Fiber Protective Services.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Tidy House

Tiny house!
This would be perfect for knitting. I am picturing floor to ceiling shelves full of yarn.

Modular house ariticle

The husband can breathe a big sigh of relief though, since if I had $1500 to blow it would go for yarn rather than supplies.

House is finally cleaning up. I even had a good half hour to knit today. I am starting the leaf cravat from the 2002/2003 Interweave Knitting magazine. I am trying it in Ambrosia from Knit Picks. I am about 1/3 done, so I’ll post pictures soon. All other projects have to go under cover until the Parental Units vacate the premises next week. Although my dad would probably never notice what I was knitting, or even assume the vest was for him. Still, hush hush.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Well, the house may not be anywhere near ready for guests, but I did find my knitting magazines.

The plan HAD been to clean this past weekend, but with sick kid, it got worse. So, we now have 24 hours to clean, and scrub, and straighten and dust. Deep sigh.

We are not unclean people, it is just that my folks house looks like a museum. Really, the guest room has a 200 year old bed. They call it the Charleston Room because the bed was made as a wedding gift for my father’s great-great grandfather in Charleston. I could scrub for a week and still feel unkempt. I am just not that together.

So this morning, I am trying to get both girls out the door for a 10 AM doctor’s appointment. “Ten?” you say, “why the problem?” Well, let me just say that at 9:30 while still trying to decide which knitting project to take for the waiting room when I realized not only had I forgotten a bra, but the only clean one was still in the washing machine. Then as I pull out the hair dryer I realize that I forgotten to rinse the conditioner out of my hair. Shove in some sunglasses to slick back the mess, whip on damp bra to find the two year old sobbing because she’s lost her “high heel” (translation: pink flip flop).

It kept going from there, I won’t torture you. By some minor miracle we got there on time and got to sit for 40 minutes, so I got in a little knitting time and managed to finish one of my Christmas projects.

Maybe tomorrow will be calmer.

Saturday, September 17, 2005


A try at photos from flicker:
I just love technology!

Wash your hands!

Not much kitting here today. The gals are sick with some sort of stomach bug. They have finally both fallen asleep. The husband is stopping by the store on his way home form work to pick up dinner and saltines. I am now really regretting putting off cleaning the house the last few days. The parental units arrive in a mere 3 days…

I did manage to get a few rows of the Horrible Scarf done. I'll try to get a picture tomorrow. It is supposed to be a gift for my stepmother for Christmas. It is a gorgeous alpaca lace yarn in exactly her color blue, but it is the THIRD lace pattern I have tried with it. I think this one is finally easy enough to try. I can do a lotta things, but so far lace ain’t one of them. I am also crippled by my inability to actually just do a pattern as written. I always decide to tweak it “just a little”. I do not understand lace well enough to just start changing things.

I also found this at Urban Outfitters and think I might try something similar in the new Palette yarn from KnitPicks.

I hear murmurs from the other room…
gotta go find a bucket.

Friday, September 16, 2005


I realized today that I have been so worried about finishing Christmas projects that I almost forgot about Halloween costumes.

This year, after much deliberation, and arguing, it was decided that the girls could BOTH be Dorothy form the Wizard of Oz. We have the gingham, they have chosen their Totos, we even have the ruby red slippers.

The problem? I have always KNIT something for Halloween. Like last year:

In case you cannot tell she is Princess Leia. I knitted the hat and then sewed on long braids to the sides for buns. Very handy since it was pretty chilly last year in Virginia. The year before she wanted to be Abraham Lincoln with a snake, and I knitted a beard out of the stuff they sell for doll’s hair at the craft store. Don’t ask about the snake, we never did figure out why she needed one.

Why bother with all of this, why not just go buy something? Well, as a child I dreaded Halloween. I always had all these great ideas, but every year, I got pretty much whatever my mother could make out of a box. We always moved in early fall, so I got to be a Christmas present, a birthday present, a TV, you get the idea. One really bad year I was a moving box…creative, no?

In her defense we had just moved form Fort Ord California to Fort Campbell KY (Dad was Airborne). We had to drive for five days cross country because we got our moving orders days before she was due to give birth to my sister. We got there and the moving van had gotten lost, so we spent several nights on cots my dad had borrowed from the barracks. Fortunately Sally was 2 weeks late and arrived Nov 6th. Really I was lucky she managed anything at all.
Elann. Besides, eventually all they will want are the generic store made costumes, so I might as well knit for them while I can.
Big-Sis in my socks knit in Patton's Grace
Mattie pretends to be a munchkin in the backyard. Everything grows bigger in Florida!
So I think this year I am going to knit blue socks. Why bother? Well, I like socks, and I really have been wanting to try the Sock It to ME Collection Esprit on

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Halfway there!

This is the vest I designed for my Dad's birthday present. Since his birthday was last week I've had to downgrade it to a Christmas present. The parental units are visiting from Willimsburg next week, so I need to come up with a replacement birthday gift pronto!

Here's my sketch: (math major, not art major!)

And here's the back:

The back of Dad's vest.

It's so exciting to see it halfway done. It has been a struggle to find good times to knit a heavy wool vest here in Florida. Not the ideal playground knit.

The two side cables are borrowed from Linda Romens' Faux Cable Pullover in "Knitting in America". The rest is my design. Let me tell you it took forever to work out all the ribbing so it would meetup with the cables. I goofed on the center cable, but I don't think you can see it in the picture. Yarn is Knitpicks...which I love. Still needs blocking, but I'll get to that once the front is done.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Beak Knits

Why Beak?

"Hey Beaky... I'm not touching you!" Bo and Sally in Germany

(picture: Bo and Sally in Germany 1982)

As a kid, traveling for days in the back of the car from army post to army post my brother and sister knew one sure way to drive me crazy. I could take the knee creeping onto MY SIDE. I even could withstand the wet-willy. But call me Becky, and it was over.

After years of arguments my mother threatened to them to the top of the car if they called me Becky one more time. She even used the laser eyes.

So after a few minutes of peace my brother leaned over and whispered "Hey Beaky!"

Over the years it has morphed, and now I am just Beak.

And Beak loves to knit.

Why she Knits?

So there we were, parked in Heidelberg Germany for a year. I was seven. It was cold. We had no yard. Thankfully my Grandmother figured a second grader stuck inside a lot could use something better to do than talk her younger brother into getting his head stuck in the apartment building’s stair rail, again.

So when she came to visit for Christmas she brought yarn, and a how-to book and needles. My hands have been busy ever since.

Grandmother cutting birthday cake in Tokyo(picture: Grandmother in Tokyo 1952)

Since having my girls (four and two) I do a lot more knitting. Mostly stuff for them, but occasionally I manage something for myself. I have found it is great to take along to doctor’s offices, reading time at the library and gymnastics. It can be dropped quickly when a knee is skinned but still leaves me with something tangible from all of the “idle time” motherhood brings.

Oh, and in my defense on the stair rail thing, he did have a pretty big head.