Almost there

Color Wheel Scarf
Color Wheel Scarf

I’m about as excited as crap. I am really near the end of the tunnel and it’s not a train. I have five orders I would like to get out between now and the end of the month..well, seven, but I will settle for the five if I can get them done. I will then be ahead of the game…that’s right, you heard it, I will be ahead of the shipping schedule.

I am saying this with all the humbleness because we know how picky dedicated the knitting goddess is. She doesn’t like celebrations in the end zone – especially from the red zone. (You didn’t know the knitting goddess was a football fan?)

Two more orders are ready to go and there’s a rasta and a classic slouch that’s going to Norway. Believe it or not, my next decision will be whether to relax into the ahead of schedule phase or burn through the rest of the open orders to get them out of the way. I am leaning towards the latter but I will probably end up with a unique combination of the two.

Tonight is knit night at the mall and I want chinese food but I can’t consider Panda Express Chinese food…or food. Nothing against them except the taste. So, I will have to plan b whatever I have for dinner there tonight and I am thinking I will leave the mall and head north instead of south and go to Mariano’s for some fruit. We went there after church on Sunday and they had this container of green and purple grapes that I thought I would eat just a few of and finished it off the same day – it lasted a few hours but only because I was knitting. I also got a nice little salad. And they had Ding Dongs and a live piano player. The prices are slightly higher but that will just serve as a deterrent. The fruit was great.

At knit night, I decided I didn’t want to take something I had to get done. I want to take something I want to make. That means I have to finish off one of the hats before I go and come back and do the other during late night. That worked out well last night. So, it’s the rasta this morning and the classic slouch later.

I ended up ordering the fiber on line – did I tell you this already? I have enough to get through at least two of the hats – and I only need two for the next three days – the fiber should have enough time to get here. (Again, humble, I know how the goddess can mess with shipping lines.)

I haven’t decided what to take with me to StitchCraft and that makes me happy because when was the last time that decision was in my hands? Yes, when I decided to make the taupe cowl that I work on up here but that was a long time ago in knit time. I am thinking I will pull some yarn to do this and have fun with it. The thing that intrigues me is it will need three balls of yarn and when I purchased the chunky yarn, I did it in lots of four. I am betting it doesn’t take all three. I find things like that interesting. But I’m a maverick.

I am off to pull the first three balls of the same color chunky yarn that I find (not the expensive ones) for the scarf and then I have a hat to make before the evening of fun!

The End of the Tunnel

Amelie, the pattern
Amelie, the pattern

I see the end of the orders road. I have less than 20 open orders and the surge will be for the next three days to get the last of the January orders (due in February) out so I can then get on with the due in March orders.

I see some free time coming.

This has allowed me to take some deep breaths and with those breaths has come some clarity. There are things I see that I don’t care for and it’s those moments to be grateful that life is fluid until it is not.

I went to bed last night thinking that Mr. Honey and I used to go to breakfast and we haven’t been out to breakfast since New Year’s day. So, when he woke up I asked why we don’t go out to breakfast and he said because he asked me three times in a row and I said no.

“So do you want to go out to breakfast?” I asked

“No. It’s too late.” He woke up at his normal time. I do not think it is the time to point out we would be going about 20 minutes later than we used to and that he is going downstairs to eat his bagel and coffee which he does no matter what time of day he wakes up. Even when he wakes up close to noon.

I think it’s important to not have to be right.

I am making a resolution to not be lazy this year. There are things I want to do and I cannot do them by just imagining them. I don’t think I’m too old for anything/

There’s no snow on the roof and there was some forecasted so it must have been the light dusting and the sunlight took care of it. But the cold weather has come back and I really don’t see that leaving for some weeks. We had spring last week and I think we are just going to have to deal with it. The ten day has today and next Tuesday being the high days at 24. I am one of those wh9 doesn’t mind the cold as long as the streets are clear and the sun is shining. I feel trapped otherwise and I don’t like that feeling at all.

So, if the streets are clear and I can get out if I need to then I’m good. I thought I would have to pay a visit to Hobby Lobby to get a yarn I was out of, I have to make four more rastas and I don’t have the fiber for all of them. I do have it for about three of them and the last two aren’t due for about 10 days so that’s enough time to order it on line and to get here. This makes me happy I don’t have to make that long trip.

I have a crocheted classic slouch and a taupe cable on the agenda for today. I am going to do down and put the order that’s ready to go out for the mail person, get some breakfast (in the house) and then get to work. One hat I want to complete before five; the other can be done during late night. I think I will do the cable hat first because it will take the longest time.

It’s my night to cook and I am thinking some comfort food. I made chicken fried steak last night and it was OK but I won’t be making it again. Tonight though chicken fried chicken with mashed potatoes.

I somehow have to work breakfast dates back into the mix. Since I broke it – I have to fix it.

 

What a difference….

Jenna and the arm warmers
Jenna and the arm warmers

The snow on all the roofs is melting because of the ‘heat wave’. We hit the 40’s yesterday and it looks like we will be back there today. Before those of you in the area get excited, we will be back in the 20s next week. The gods are teasing us.

Today, there will be laundry. I have someplace to go tonight and it would be nice to do in clean clothes so I will be doing a boatload of laundry. Modern technology being what it is, I don’t have to be at the machine to watch it do the laundry. I can throw it in and come back twenty minutes later and put it in the other machine and come back an hour later and take it all out and have mountain fresh clothes even though most of my clothes have never seen a mountain.

Carol asked if I checked out Ebay for the lost needles…yes…and no dice but I wouldn’t have purchased them for EBay…I have nothing against EBay, I just adopted my baby from there and I got back into the knitting business because of I bought an estate sale load of needles years ago. But once I start buying stuff like that on EBay, the compulsion takes over. I have purchased many needles from EBay and sometimes it’s good to stay away from the sugar. So, I did check and didn’t find any but found another set of acrylic exchangeable needles and quickly left the site. I know where my weaknesses are and I am feeling very vulnerable.

I need to get to work. I have a shorter work day because of choir rehearsal and I desperately want to get orders out. My mind is needing a day off and I can’t wait to take one. It’s just not today.

Sigh…..

basketweave hat
basketweave hat

Mr. Honey was out shoveling last night…in the dark..or by the street lights which is almost the same thing.  The roof next door is once again covered and when I look out the west window, those roofs are also covered and I can see a couple of inches on them.

So I guess there’s snow. And this is with the warmer temps. It’s like the weather angels are insisting on offsets…sort of like Congress. “Yes, you can have funding but you have to pay for in tax cuts for people completely unrelated to those you want the funding for.” In this case, we can have warmer weather if they can make it harder to enjoy by dumping snow in it.

The Olympics don’t even interest me because I can look outside at people being reckless in the snow – besides, it’s warmer in Russia. I actually did check out the ice dancing. I thought the American short program was better than the Canadian’s but I thought the Canadian long program was better. It’s a good thing they built up that cushion for the score. Not that my countrymen didn’t skate beautifully, they certainly did, I just liked the other program better. But they deserve the gold and I expect to see them on the Wheaties box.

I’m up earlier than I have been lately. I woke up a few minutes early and since I don’t sleep that long to begin with, I expect a small crash later but hopefully after I’ve gotten a couple of hats off.

There are four packages going out today and on the agenda is a purple cable, a cranberry cable and a stocking cap.

I broke a knitting needle yesterday. I was using the Zephyr acrylics from KnitPicks. I was going along when I heard a snap and there it was – part of it in my hand and the other part dangling from the hat that was in my hands. No problem, switched out the one broken acrylic with the nickle plated and continued on. (I think here would be the right time to point out that if I didn’t have the other set of interchangeable needles, I would not have been so calm. And yes, I was now knitting with one acrylic and one nickle plated. I’m a rebel.)

I was thinking I would just get the nice KnitPicks people on the web and order replacements for the size seven I broke.

Zephyr acrylics are discontinued. Now I have an incomplete set of archaic needles. Now I wonder if I will use them again. I admit, I haven’t used them a lot since I have the nickle plated but I always had the option. I still have the option but I will be thinking more about breaking them than the project since there is no replacing them. I do have my set of Boye needles which I am sure feel neglected – wouldn’t be surprised if they somehow sabotaged the other needles because I haven’t used them in a couple of years since the KnitPicks showed up. But this does play in my head. What do I do? Do I slowly swap out the acrylics with bamboo? Do I purchase another set of acrylic interchangeables? Do I remember I didn’t purchase this set but Mr, Honey purchased it for me? I think he did. He usually buys me needles so it’s a good bet he got me these. Do I just try and put it out of my mind and go on with a set of needles that isn’t quite itself anymore and just don’t use the size seven needles. Which really don’t get a lot of use, just on two hats that I can think of.

It’s a puzzlement.

I blame winter.

 

Embrace the beast

granny square hat
granny square hat

Winter is never going to end. The warmer weather came and brought snow with it. Snow came when it was colder, too. Snow when it’s cold. Snow when it’s warm. Snow. Snow. Snow.

Dr. Seuss couldn’t make this stuff fun. While sitting here at the computer reading a blog, I crocheted a little on the taupe cowl and thought about the hats I needed to get downstairs and make today. I have now 20+ orders to get out. I haven’t had a new sale since Valentine’s Day and I’m a little OK with that.

I have a gray rasta, a black granny square and a purple cable hat on the agenda for the day.

I had the thought that perhaps I should embrace winter. Maybe I should pull on the coat put on the hats and glove and just go stand outside. I am not sure what it will accomplish but maybe the spirit will see me making an attempt and give us a break.

It is not ego thinking I can, all by myself, change the course of the weather just by standing outside. I am thinking it is just my contribution to the greater good. I’m sure there’s something you can do, too.

Perhaps now would be a good time to tell you I bought a baby yesterday. Yep. I bought a baby. I am listening for the sirens and for Detective Benson to come bursting through the door at any moment. Have you seen Law and Order SUV lately? I am watching the series on Hulu so I am in season 7 but I saw a recent episode recently and Det. Benson isn’t aging well but Ice-T looks the same. I think that’s all the research we need to prove that ‘black don’t crack.’

babyIn any case, I bought a baby. We need babies for the shop and Miss April got a baby and Miss Ellen also got a baby and I really loved her baby. I looked for them on Ebay and couldn’t find one that didn’t cost as much as a real baby but Miss Ellen said she paid just $12 and I went back and found this little cutie. Why do we need 3 babies? Variety for one. But also because I own a shop of my own and I would like to have my own kid to do some of my own stuff. I am already thinking of different ways to dress her. If I can find a way to get Oona (the mannequin) to hold her – then it’s on.

The little bundle of joy should be here within a week and then I will have name her.  Takes things to a new level. I’m pretty excited.

 

Sunday Morning Going Down

Color wheel scarf
Color wheel scarf

I got up with the intention of going to church. I woke up. I even worked out early so I could say I got it over with. And after the work out, I sat down and I decided I didn’t want to go anywhere today. I just wanted to stay home. I thought about the choir and we didn’t have any interviews today and I thought the pastor wasn’t going to be there and I knew who the sub was going to be and the bottom line of it was – I wanted to do something else. I wanted to stay home. Not because I am sick. Not because I am tired. I just didn’t want to do it.

It might have had something to do with staying up til 5 the night before. Or that I have no clean clothes. I haven’t done laundry in weeks. Or it could be the small layer of snow that was over all the cars and I didn’t care how soft it was, I’m just so sick of snow. I don’t know what it was but the desire not to go was not overpowered by the desire to go. So home I stayed.

And I started a new upstairs project. I am doing this

crochet cowl
crochet cowl

in a different color. I am doing it in a scft taupe. Not the same taupe the cable hat is done in. A completely new shade. I am using a ball of Loops and Threads Impeccable. I thought at one time this would be my yarn of choice and I don’t know quite why it wasn’t. It could be that there is not as much yardage on this skein as in I Love This Yarn. But I am liking how this color is working up. Different colors can have different feels to them and respond differently. Probably has something to do with how it interacts with the fiber. But this is feeling nice and lush. This can be a three season cowl: spring, fall and winter. It fits in with the plan to create things that can be used to sell in the not so cold months.

I also found a pattern for the main thing I want to put in the shop to be sold year round and I am taking that as a sign that it’s something I should be doing because I wasn’t looking for a pattern but I was wondering how to some aspect of it and there it was when I was looking for something else. You have to read the signs.

There is an order ready to go – and if I go to the grocery store for fruit later, it will be shipped off. On the list today are a cranberry preppie and a gray rasta. Again, I will be getting a late start but I don’t have to make dinner on Sundays so I can probably push through. I have enough upstairs and downstairs things going on to keep me bust for the next few weeks.

I am going to make my way downstairs, get a little something to eat and then get on with it. No rest for the wicked or the weary and truth to tell, I might both right now.

 

For Real This Time

Cara
Cara

OK, I know I said I was over my Red Heart Love obsession and I cleared out the shopping cart but I was at knit group yesterday and I listened as Pilvi, Sylvia and Marion all tried to denounce acrylic fiber for the ‘real’ stuff. Acrylic is real. Unless you eat only things grown out of the earth (and none of the are vegetarians) I don’t think it’s fair to decry acrylic yarn as being fake. I handed over the poncho (the only thing I worked on at knit group) and they were all impressed by it.

Understand, I am not trying to get the to love acrylic yarn just to stop hating on it.  During the discussion, I mentioned the sale for $2.79 and how I was so tempted but I didn’t need 18 skeins of yarn and the free shipping ended anyway and yesterday was $2.14 flat rate shipping…..

Oh…

I could get less than 18 skeins. The only reason I was getting that many was to meet the minimum requirement for free shipping but with the flat rate, I could get less. Way less. Like nine skeins and still not spend $30. Which is what I did. I can place nine skeins of yarn. Everyone is sated and satisfied.

Last night I was ready to go to bed at my usual 2 A.M. when I got a sudden burst of energy and felt the need to finish a hat. So I went to be at about 5:30. I finished the hat way earlier than that but I had to bring it upstairs and pack it up for shipping. Heaven forbid I leave it sitting uncovered for the night early morning  So I packed it up and that led to checking a couple of things and bed right before the sun came up. All this and I don’t even drink coffee. Just imagine.

I have five different hats coming down the pike: rasta, gray rasta (OK, they’re the same but different colors makes a difference) a purple cable, a lack granny square and a preppie. I do not expect to get them all done today – I am getting something of a late start – but a couple of them should be ready to be dropped off tomorrow as I make my way to church.

The poncho has crazy making attributes. I knit and knit and I don’t seem to be getting anywhere but that could be because the stitches are beginning to take over the cable of the circular needle. When all is said and done, there will be hundreds of stitches on the needles and I can’t really see it shaping out the way it is supposed to be. Also, I think I cast on stitches at the beginning for a neckline that will fit a child or a very small adult – I am neither but I wasn’t knitting this for me anyway. The next one – and there will be a next one – will find me casting on about 75 stitches and instead of one knit row and one purl row to begin, I will be doing a 3×3 rib – which I guess means, I will cast on 72 or 78 stitches, not 75. I did that math in my head – you can be impressed.

There is much to be done and I want to be in bed before five..so it’s time to get cracking!

The Great Beyond

arm warmers
arm warmers

I am leaving the house today. I don’t know why this is a pronouncement. I left the house earlier this week to go to JoAnn. It’s not like I don’t know where the front door is or the car is buried underneath the snow or anything.

I just wanted to share.

I should have said I am leaving the house today to go to knit group. I haven’t done that since the last time I left the house to go to knit group and that was at the end of January. So that’s something.

It is always interesting t0 me to see what projects will end up in the knit bag when I go to knit group. Knit group is mostly talking. There is some knitting done but this particular group is going to have some business discussion usually saved for the Wednesday evening session. But I am thinking I will be taking the poncho (which I calculate to be half done) and a cable hat and a preppie hat. I will not do three projects but I live in a state of perpetual optimism.

Last night was as uneventful as I thought it would be – I didn’t even vacuum. But I did finish a hat and made some moves on the poncho so that was something I also managed to workout – two nights running – and I worked out longer than I did the day before.

I also managed to not purchase the yarn from JoAnn and now the free shipping is over to be replaced by $2.14 flat shipping. Get it? Took me until this morning to get why that rate. Proves I’m not the romantic I used to be.

Practicality rules over desire. I have a half ton of yarn to work through. It’s for the best. And here ends the obsession with it. I even emptied out the shopping cart.

The 10 day forecast actually has temps in the 30s to the 50s and provides some sparkle of hope that spring is still on the schedule for this year. I am going to pretend to not look just in case spring is a little skittish this year and doesn’t want to be seen. I don’t want to scare it off so I am going to start working on something for Halloween. That’s right. Halloween.

I have very little time to get ready and leave. I miscalculate this a lot so I am going now to get myself together for some knitting friends fun. Miss April is hosting today and she has goodies from Costco. Can’t go wrong with that, you betcha.

A Little Night Music

Infinity scarf in fiesta
Infinity scarf in fiesta

Today is date night but instead of going out on our date, Mr. Honey will be at the church I attend helping to make dinner for the PADS clients.

This means an evening free for me. Actually, a late afternoon and evening free.

It should bother me how much I look forward to that. One would think the man  bothered me during the rest of the week and it’s not true. In fact, we spend an odd amount of time apart – especially when I have orders to get out. I am in the living room knitting and he disappears upstairs with his little t and v. But there is something about having the house to myself. I am sure he enjoys it when I am out of the house for a few hours or the whole day. It’s not like I’m gonna do something really spectacular – I think vacuuming the hall will be involved – but it’s just nice.

Something happened this morning that has not happened it a while – I woke up eager to get to knitting. Now understand, I woke up looking forward to knitting as opposed to waking up and knowing I had to get to knitting. It’s not like I was dreading knitting but during the busy times knitting is work and although I don’t lose sight of the fact that knitting gets me money – everyone has a day where they don’t want to work no matter what that work is. I always look forward to it but today I am eager to get to it.

Because I started the new poncho. I finished a hat last night and before I cast on for the next one, I thought I would take the Red Heart Love and just start the poncho – just for a little while between orders.

First, Red Heart Love is better than I Love this Yarn. The new I Love This Yarn is a thinner ply than what they used to have. (This disappoints me but not for the reason you might think. I just think a company that touts their faith so much as a foundation would not be that cheap as the make a thinner yarn when they change the manufacturer. You just know they went cheaper there as well.) I had a ball of the ‘old’ weave and the new one in the same color and there was a world of difference. The bad thing is Red Heart Love doesn’t come in as many colors and it’s more expensive than ILTY.

I am using 10.5 needles for a yarn that calls for an 8 and the stitches are more lush as opposed to loose. I also get to use a beloved acrylic circular needle and the yarn moves well with them. The pattern is pretty basic though I do have to pay some attention for the two row repeat.

I was a good girl and put it down after an hour or so and started the new hat and I tell you, it was the better for having worked on the poncho a little bit. Plus, I got to watch The Avengers last night. I haven’t seen it in a couple of weeks so it was a good night all around.

There are two orders going out today. I have two rastas, a cable and a preppie in the line up and I will work on the poncho again as well. I am looking forward to seeing it come out. There are 4 increases every other row so by the time I’m done there will be loads of stitches and then I get to add fringe. It will take about 600 yards – which is about a skein and a half of either a RHL or ILTY.

Yes, it does make me rethink my decision about the sale yarn – it’s still in the shopping cart on the site. At. $2.79 a ball, it’s less than what even Knitting Warehouse sells it for. Can you tell I’m talking to myself about it? I don’t know if I am talking myself into it or our of it. Feel free to offer your insight.

I am leaning away from it. I have no place to put it and if I have it and don’t use it, that’s a waste of money. If, it happens, the poncho I am making does sell, then I can make the investment, even at the Knitting-Warehouse price which is 50% more than this sale price but not that much more than the regular price of ILTY.

But it’s staying the shopping cart. It doesn’t hurt anything.

Saved By The Bell

jazz juliet
jazz juliet

You know how I said yesterday that the reason I could stop myself from purchasing yarn online is because I don’t like to pay all that money for shipping? Resolve can go right out the window when the company offers free shipping.

I was almost sucked in to the vortex that was JoAnn. They have Red Heart Love on sale for 50% off. Two things stopped me – though I did fill the shopping cart: 1. They don’t have a huge variety of colors. 2. They don’t offer PayPal as a pay option.

I should also say I had a good talk with myself about how free shipping on orders of $50 or more meant I would have to get 18 skeins of yarn – that wasn’t really a point I took as a bad thing – until I added I don’t have the bins to hold 18 more skeins of yarn.

That really wasn’t going to deter me but the fact they don’t take PayPal did it for me. I like paying for my yarn with yarn money and once I take money from that account and put it into my account, that’s payroll money and I don’t want to use ‘personal’ money for business. (I like how yarn is now a business expense.)

This is a win-win situation. If I purchased the fiber, I would love to have added to my stock (t’s way to big to be a stash) pile. On the other hand, I take pride that I had something of a standard and held to it and stay about $53.00 richer.

Two orders left here yesterday and one is ready to go today. I have three rastas and a cable to make. I don’t think I will get allthis thing is selling hot! four of them done but I am somewhat intrigued at having to make three rastas. I do believe I have the fiber I need, I am making a lot of them but I also purchased a lot of it. Every time I needed to order from Hobby Lobby, I threw a couple of these – just in case.

Still, I have now made myself paranoid because the yarn goddess is so fickle she might think I was boasting just now. I wasn’t – I was showing confidence. Now I will have to go check.

I saw a scarf I think would be perfect for the chunky yarn I bought at Little Mecca. I have added it my mental list of projects to make. WARNING: Herrschners is having a by the bag sale and they do take PayPal and they have Mosaic on sale a bag of 6 for less than $20  I closed the window before temptation took me over.  Anyway, the scarf is really cute and I will show you when I’ve done it rather than tell you what it is.

I can see part of the roof next door. According to weather reports, we will hit the balmy upper twenties and thirties starting today going through the weekend. Of course, the cost will be rain and snow.

I was out yesterday because I had to go to JoAnn and I thought it was warm – it was 12. That’s what living in Siberia will do to you. Oh yeah, I went to JoAnn yesterday. Let me explain what happened: I went to get the taupe fiber I had to get so I could make the hats I need to make. I put them in my cart and I admit, I looked to see what else was there. And they had the Red Heart Love on sale for 50% off. But just like on line, not a lot of colors. But they did have a beautiful merlot color and they only had four and it was $2.79 a skein. So I wiped them out of it. My coupons weren’t working on the phone and I didn’t have my mailer but the nice young man at the counter gave me 40% off each of the skeins I had to have. Full price it would have been about $45 and I walked out spending less than $30. The business money applies only online.

That merlot yarn is going to make a lovely poncho. That poncho is going to sell. Wait and see.