Come too far…Gone too far

another look at the granny square hat
another look at the granny square hat

There are some more cable hats in the stable along with another 3 strand headband. I have a cranberry cable hat on the needles downstairs and a new hat that doesn’t yet have a name on the upstairs needles.

I gave some thought to trying to throw myself a pity party because things are not moving as fast I as I would like them to now that I’ve decided I wanted things to move fast. But I’ve abandoned that idea to instead choose to be more positively focused. Besides, today is a free day and I can eat whatever I want. Depression would just take away from the joy of that.

Today will be spent prepping for tomorrow’s trip. I and three others will be making our way to WI. I have in mind that I can come back with no yarn purchase or the idea that the entire back of the van will be filled and there’s a chance someone will need to find an alternate way back to Illinois.

There is something that could curtail that last possibility and it’s that Hobby Lobby is filling their website with new yarns and Miss Vicki said their shelves were stocked again with solid colors though the variegated colors were scarce.  Yes, I was prepared to throw them over but second chances have been known to happen. But I am not naive. I am not putting all my knitting eggs in that basket anymore.

The main thing that works in favor of coming back with a yarn store in my van is that the prices on the website are the prices in the store.  So there are some opportunities to be set up right going into the crazy season.  The truth is I don’t think I am coming back with much more than some great memories and a smile. It’s jus the thought of being able to come back with fiber is wonderful. But I still am in stash bust not stash build mode and the only concern I have is finding the big balls so I can make the hooded scarf (wait until you see the photo – pretty cute!) Now, if I can find that on this trip then that will be the best icing on the cake.

It’s Friday! There’s rain in the forecast but try and enjoy yourselves wherever you are! Wish us a safe and happy trip as well. Tell you all about it on Sunday.

 

Ain’tMisbehavin’

granny square hat in white
granny square hat in white

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday there were little hiccups in the 75 week plan. I am putting it down to the cold I had and a compromised immune system that made me weaker and allowed that very small amount of chocolate to be consumed on days that were not free days.

I’m not kidding. Very small amount. It was a couple of those bite sized candies. The only reason I even mention it is because this will only work with full disclosure. I wouldn’t even consider it if it didn’t happen three days in a row. But it didn’t happen yesterday which also was the firs day I really felt better. See? It was the cold. I’m sticking with that story.

Knitsville was somewhat quiet yesterday because it was a knit free day. The next one doesn’t happen for more than a week. It’s the weird way the schedule works. But upon resuming the knitting, I am at one of those points.  I really like the new stitch and it’s knitting nice and fluffy with the larger needles but I am not convinced I should be doing it on the forest colored fiber. (I am also aware this is a great place to put in a photo so you can see what I’m talking about.)

The thing is: I am determined to use this fiber. It’s my regular worsted weight stuff but something inside of me says to use it. So, instead of getting a lighter color fiber, I need to decide to stay the course or change what I’m making.  I’m in ‘breaking stash’ mode. ‘Use it’ is the mantra running through my head at the moment.

The good news is I do have something in mind for it and I am very confident it will work and look good.

Another afghan square is also started and I have another cable hat in the stable. Clicking along here. There are more photos to edit and products to upload. I find I have dropped out of some of the searches and it could be due to letting items expire because I was in down mode. Hopefully with some renewed and new listings, it will come back. I already see traffic has increased.

It was a nice respite but it’s back to go time!

I did read a book yesterday and though it wasn’t a knitting book it was a book about how to get your book published. Well, it hasn’t mentioned knitting specifically so I think it counts. Kinda. No. Hey, I tried but I really want to have a book published.  Is that so wrong?

The Order of Things

classic in sage
classic in sage

Some time ago, our phones went out. One minute I was happily working on something online and the next minute everything was gone and when I picked up the phone thinking I was calling my ISP, I discovered there was no phone service. I got the cell phone, called the phone company and they said they would send someone out the next morning. Normally, this would cause all kinds of trapped feelings for me. I don’t like being without a car even if I’m not going anywhere because I like the option of leaving. I would have felt really trapped if I didn’t have a cell phone and because that cell phone 1 has internet access and 2 could be changed into a hot spot so the house could still have internet access, I was OK with them coming out the next morning.

I should mention, before calling the phone company, we tried to resetting the phone system which is a base with extensions. This is important.

The next day the phone guy came out and went outside and climbed a pole or something and a short time later the phone rang. I answered the phone downstairs – not part of the system – and we had phone service.

A couple of hours later, I was back upstairs and working on something on line when I picked up the phone to make a call.

Nothing.

Went downstairs, got the cell phone, called the phone company and said, went dead again. The very nice woman said she would get the guy back there that same day. I hung up and then I realized. I still had internet service. That’s odd. I can have the phone without having the internet but it shouldn’t go the other way around.

Mr. Honey was over at his sister’s helping her with something and I called him there to tell him how odd it was that I was working upstairs but there was no phone. And the he said it.

“I turned the phones off upstairs.”
“Why?”
“Because they weren’t working.”
“Why would you turn them off?”
“To see if that would get them working.”
“You mean like a reboot?”
“Yeah.”
“Wouldn’t you have to turn them back on, you know, to see if it worked?”
“Yeah, I guess.”

Called the phone company and cancelled the visit and told her why. She called off the return. After she stopped laughing.

Which brings me to last night.

We have one of those lanterns that uses a flame instead of a bulb and after dinner when Mr. H retreated upstairs, I noticed the lantern was on the dining room table.

Lit.

After a couple of hours, when I was ready to go upstairs, I called up and asked him if he remembered there was a lit lantern on the dining room table.

“Oh, yeah.”
“Why is there a lit lantern on the table?”
“Because it’s storming.”

See. God made the snake, then man and then woman. I just keep thinking how different the world we be if he made woman first…when he was fresh.

There’s a new hat in Knitsville. I did a cable hat. I also started a new cowl and decided the needle size was too small. I started with size 8 needles and that was going to take forever to get a cowl out of that and because I am using a dark color, I didn’t think it would show the pattern as well as it would if I used a larger needle. So, I switched to 10. Works better. They’re also aluminum. Talk about old school.

Won’t be working on them today because the weird way the schedule works, it’s another knit free day in Knitsville. The day is  good enough to take the remaining photos so I am going to do that. I will also be clearing up the living room space making it look more like a living room and not an crafter’s den.

I am even hoping to read a book that has nothing to do with knitting. A novel. I’m pretty sure I know how to do that. Maybe I will even do it outside.

Empty Needles

flower afghan
flower afghan

Knitsville is dull. There’s nothing going on here. There was plenty of action yesterday: finished another square in the afghan. (I tell you when you don’t have to duplicate stitch a cat on a square, they go pretty quickly.) Finished the Misti Alpaca cowl. (It took exactly one skein. No need to cut the ends, just wove them in. ) Finished another eyelet rasta. (I think I am done with those for the time being and I am going to move to the cable hat.)

So there’s nothing on any needle or hook in Knitsvlle. In fact, Knitsville is pretty quiet throughout the entire town. No shop promoting going on. The town seems to be sleeping in late today.

That will change, of course, today is still a little too overcast to take photos so we are hoping for tomorrow and there will be new things started today. New items will begin to find their way into the shop and there’s photo editing going on behind the scenes. You have to know where to look to find the action.

I will be starting the cable hats and I am going to be glad to have some of those ready to go. It’s one of those patterns that’s fun unless you have to make one right after the other. Last year was the first year I sold them in the shop and I’ve done more than 100 of them. I think I want to have the fun part now when there’s no pressure.

There’s also another hat that’s wheedled its way into my consciousness and wants to be made. I want to make it with another yarn before making it with the alpaca just in case it doesn’t come out. Rather experiment with the yarn that doesn’t cost $17. There’s also a stitch I think would make a great looking cowl. See, Knitsville is alive and kicking.

I think the cold may be easing away. I’m not as runny as I have been the last few days. I think last night’s Nyquil coma might have done the trick.  Still a little stuffy but I’m more coherent. At least when I talk to myself. Which I do. Quite a lot.

 

 

Seasons Greetings

granny square hat
granny square hat

It was sunny and warm yesterday and summer is gone to be replaced by a rainy, dark and cold spring. The weather in Chicago used to be more consistent even as it changed now there’s no telling what you’ll get from day to day.

I did spend yesterday taking photos – I also caught a cold and the Nyquil buzz while taking pictures was something else. Some photos need to be redone. I took nearly 100 photos before coming back in the house and then I figured out I didn’t photograph everything.  I didn’t do the hooded scarf, I didn’t do the toddler hat and there’s the visor and the headband still left.

Did I mention the Nyquil buzz? Overcast days are nice for taking photos but this day is too dark so the next photo session is coming soon to a backyard near me.

I’m gearing up for an overnight girl’s road trip to here. It’s Mecca for crafters. We will be heading up on Saturday morning, check into the hotel, depending on how early we get there, we can go shopping at Herrschner’s, eat and come back and chill. Then hit one of the many yarn stores in the morning and make our way back.  We had a small glitch in the plan when one of the group emailed to say the hotel was booked solid and there were a couple of us who hadn’t reserved our rooms yet. No worries. Called the hotel and they did have enough rooms to cover us. Crisis diverted.

I love these girl getaways. Bonding over common passions and just being in the company of women is an amazing thing. Hard to explain unless you’re one of us and when you’re one of us, no real need to explain. Don’t get me wrong, I think men are wonderful but a group of women together is soul affirming.

We will be knitting in Knitsville today. I am back with the Misti Alpaca cowl and it has grown on me. I looked at it in some sunlight yesterday and was pleased with what I saw.  I did decided on a small modification. Instead of using two skeins to make a long cowl, I am going to see what one skein gets me and perhaps do a hat to match with the other skein. It’s a big, cozy yarn and I am using fat 17 needles and I am having fun with that. Surprises me, I didn’t think I would enjoy the needle size. Hard to argue with the results:  lofty and soft.

I do have to take exception to something I’ve heard about big needle knitting: it supposedly goes fast because you’re using fat yarn and fat needles. I don’t find it moving any faster than any other knitting. And because the needles are so much bigger, I have to work the needles more slowly than with smaller needles. Maybe with practice I will improve my speed but right now this puppy aint moving fast at all.

Today is Memorial Day and I offer my thanks to those who continue to serve and those who have served. I saw a quote I find quite appropriate: I think a man with a helmet defending his country should make more than a man with a helmet defending a football.

And the women, too.

Moving Down the Highway

duke1Yesterday would have been Duke’s 16th birthday. Certainly do miis my boy. I was thinking when we were going to get another dog and I still think it’s possible just not right now. So many other things in the way of being good parents. And I have to say we were really good parents.

OK, so there’s been a change in the cat afghan. I don’t like the cats. I tried. I really did. I was working on the second one when a really strong voice in my head said: “Life’s too short to knit stuff you don’t like.” I think it’s a beautiful afghan and I don’t have a problem with real cats (I owned two) but I want to make a more general afghan. So the afghan is still

sunburst
sunburst

a go just minus the cats and I’ve also selected a color scheme instead of doing a nanny square thing which has all kinds of colors, this afghan will be limited to a few colors: sage green, peach, gray and a dark color to be named later but I’m thinking violet or aubergine. In any case, it won’t be worked on today because today is knit free here in Knitsville. Today is photo taking day. It’s a little chilly but as long as it’s not windy as it has been, I think I can manage it. I will be out there for a good chunk of time, I have a lot to take photos of. This is part of gearing up for the fall season.  As soon as the photos are done and uploaded, I will start introducing new items to the shop bit by bit. I don’t want everything done at the same time because I don’t want everything expiring on the same day.

There’s a lot done and a lot more to be done so I’m off to make progress. Enjoy the longer weekend and be happy and safe.

Rest..Not So Much

jeweled classic
jeweled classic

Yesterday was a day off from working out. It was a day I was looking forward to because as much as I enjoy the workout, I kinda like the day off. It teases the senses.

But there are times when a workout is not a workout. For instance, when you have to take a butter knife and go around a fifteen foot patio digging the moss out from between the pavers on the patio and then sweeping the patio – twice – once with a little broom and once with a push broom and then -re-sanding the pavers and helping your hubby install the lights on the pergola (which was the most restful part of the whole thing.)
But it is lovely. It was nice sitting out there last night until the cold weather hit. I was even tempted to take a photo of it. I probably will.

OK, I am trying to commit to taking more photos of in progress work and stuff. Let’s just see how it goes.

I’ve completed the first square of the cat afghan. I just have to put some buttons on for eyes. I am not going to try and do the embroidery because I know I’m not good at it. I’ve attempted it far too many times in the past. I accept my human failing at not being able to draw with string.

I also started the cowl with the Misti Alpaca. Let’s just say it’s growing on me. The colors are not popping the way I wanted or expected them to but then I am indoors. This is one of those times when an outdoor photo might reveal more to me than my brain is willing to see. But I love the pattern and I love how it feels. So I am fighting the urge to frog it and do something else. I have to give Ravelry part of the credit for keeping me on course. Almost every pattern made with this yarn is a cowl so my first instinct to use it for just that purpose seems spot on.

This is a holiday weekend – Memorial Day – take a moment to give thanks to thosw who made the supreme sacrifice in service to the country. There are veterans in our family and we are lucky they all came home from combat without injury. But war is different these days and whatever ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ there were about the rules of engagement are gone. We don’t even have to be on the same continent to wage a battle. We should all be wary and we should all be grateful for those who sign up to serve and protect. I’m one of those who believe if we still had a draft we wouldn’t have lawmakers so anxious to make war and to make money off war. I think it’s far too easy to send someone else’s child in harm’s way when you’re pretty confident your own child ain’t gonna be nowhere near the battle.

Take just a moment to pray for peace and give thanks. We need both.

 

I Wouldn’t Say Clear Headed

Amelie
Amelie

I scared myself this morning as I looked down at my hand and screamed in my head: “Where the hell is your wedding ring?” before realizing I was looking at my right hand.

So, there I was with no projects to do. I looked at the list of sales with the thought I would start something for the shop or craft show – following the plan that I needed to see what sold well and prepare some of those for the ready to ship section and for the craft shows – just like we discussed. I also gave thought to the afghan itch that was  going on and the wanting to do another hooded scarf.

Which is why I am doing this afghan which looks nothing like the nanny square afghan I thought I was heading toward. I was going to do it. I saw this afghan and thought, ‘This is perfect.’ I had the idea of just leaving out the cat stuff and doing the squares and it would make a wonderful afghan. Pair it with a couple of pillow covers and there’s a set! So, I finished the first square, a simple stockinette, then suddenly I was reaching for the needle to do the duplicate stitching. That was after I first started doing the cat intarsia and decided I didn’t want to deal with the floats.

I don’t quite know how or why I talked myself into it. Perhaps because it was a free day and I was sugar high or because I was feeling empowered from the 12 days of exercise and eating right (better). Something in my head said to take it from a general type of afghan to a more specific type of afghan. One where someone seeing has to like cats. Now I will have to pay at least slight attention to the colors. I will be paying as little as possible while pulling the squares together. Because this first square is yellow with a green cat face, my guess is that I’m going to have try and calm down that corner square or place it somewhere other than the corner. I was going to make the squares in order of the afghan starting at the lower left corner but I think I will do all of the squares I need of each one.

Mu justification was afghans were popular sellers in my shop so this would do three things: feed the beast that wants to make an afghan, make something for the new shop and create something I know is likely to find a buyer.

All the same: What was I thinking?

On my way to finding that pattern, I saw a picture for something that is neither a hooded scarf or a hat and I want to make it. I am itching to make some version of it. Truth is when I saw the picture, I thought of the skeins of Misti Alpaca I have and nothing to make with them and thought this would be the perfect thing. Thick yarn, big needles, quick project. It also would use some of the stash even though there was an opposite tug at my stash heart that said, but if you use it, you won’t have it. Silly right. I’m a knitter. Knitters understand these things.  I think the angel sitting on the ‘do it’ shoulder is going to win this fight.

All the more pretty stuff to photograph on Sunday. Provided it doesn’t rain. Fingers crossed.

 

Enablers

3 rib hat
3 rib hat

Knitsville is still pretty quiet. I did another headband last night. These are the simplest and quickest headbands in the history of simple and quick headbands. I also have an eyelet rasta that is almost ready to come off the needles. It is in the decrease rows which means it won’t be long now.

Two thoughts hit me last night: I want to knit and afghan and I want to do another hooded scarf. The afghan thing is not surprising since I’ve been looking at the breakdown of sales and they’ve sold pretty well in the shop. The hooded scarf hit me after looking at the finished piece and declaring it pretty.

Those thoughts are not random. I am beginning to come out of the ‘I just need a moment to breathe’ stage after having all those orders. I’ve taken those breaths and noticed the bank account number isn’t what I want it to be. In short, Mama needs new orders. I am slowly getting back into working mode and I am thinking another nanny square afghan is warranted and as for the hooded scarf…well, it’s pretty. And I want to try a different stitch pattern when making one.

I decided to sign up for Hulu as well as Netflix. Together they are less than $20 and I have to tell you, that is way better than the $170 a month I was paying (and still paying off) from the cable company. The downside is there are no CBS series that I watch that are on Hulu (which is basically a t and v stream.) But they have a lot that Netflix doesn’t have. I watched the first episode of a series called ‘Ambassador’ about the English ambassador to Ireland. Liked it.

But the thing I discovered on Hulu yesterday makes spending that whopping $8 month totally worth it: They have 93 clips from The Firm workouts and they are all at least 10 minutes each – and because Hulu has this auto run feature, they can play back to back without me doing anything.

Now I own several Firm tapes but this is cream to my coffee – if I drank coffee – and because I am using the Firm tapes – well – tape – I am obsessed with the original one – I just find this wonderful. I did one of the clips in my interval workout yesterday and it was fun. I have another interval workout today and want to throw one in.  The things that get me going.

 

 

Blank Slates

stuffed snake
stuffed snake

Hmmm. I finished three or four headbands yesterday. The hooded scarf is also done. I got nothing on either needles or hooks. I also have knit group tonight so just like the meeting we had a couple of weeks ago, I don’t have a project I have to bring.  I do have that plan, though, the plan to put ready to ship items in the shop and to have stock for the craft shows, so I will be bringing projects that work toward that goal.

There was no additional cursing when I did the headbands yesterday. I understand what the designer was going for and now I’m back to looking at the picture and marching on.

I still have a couple of the eyelet rasta hats to make and I am looking forward to seeing what color jumps out at me next to do it.  Don’t suggest the red that I pulled for the cocoon because I made the headbands from it and I am ready for a different color experience. There is a skein of what Lion Brand calls Aubergine sitting in front of me. I just pulled it out of one of the bins. That will make a nice eyelet rasta. But of course, I need a couple of more colors because I like to be prepared. I’ll pull those colors out of the bins in the hall and then I will be all set.

I am going to take advantage of this down time and go back out in the yard and work on the patio. I sprayed it a day or two ago with the stuff that will kill the moss growing between the stones. It’s rained for the past two nights so the vegetation should be dead and softened up by the rain so I should be able to get the moss cleared out and the little weeds should come out by the root. Got to get the patio ready so I can take photos and sit out there amongst nature and the flora and fauna. There will be bugs, too, but let’s not think about them. They serve a purpose other than freaking me out.

The rains have stopped and it’s cooler and less humid. Perfect day to be outdoors and that’s where I’m headed.