My Virtual Sanity

Have you ever felt the need to share your thoughts with virtual strangers just so you can pretend that you have adult conversations during the day? Well, that's what I'm about to do. Be prepaired for my life as a stay at home, obsessive knitter, and my attempts to stay connected with the rest of the world.

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Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Friday, April 27, 2007

10am is better than 5pm

10am is much better than 5pm. This is probably closely related to the fact that the baby is asleep and the 2 bigger kids are playing outside. It is also related to this:
That is Rogue #3. MY Rogue. Isn't it lovely?! Check out how fabulous the stitch definition is! I think that it's related to the fact that I'm essentially knitting with 5 strands of lace weight yarn held together. Most store bought sweaters are made this way. These have partially felted together, so I'm not really having any problems with splitting. All of that is from 1 ball of yarn. I think that it was the back of the sweater I took apart. I have a bunch more too. See:
That's one of the fabulous things about knitting with recycled yarn. If you do it right, it's almost like having a giant cone of yarn. It goes on FOREVER.

Here are the problem Cookie A socks (also knit in recycled yarn):I had the yarn in my stash from when I was convinced that I was going to knit DH a pair of socks so he would understand what all the fuss is all about. He insisted that he didn't want them, so It has sat there. It was the only sock yarn I had enough of for a full sized pair of socks, so I nabbed it. See how the swoosh doesn't go all the way across. I still need to figure that one out, but not today.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


I don't know what it is about 5pm, but that seems to be my limit. At 4pm I'm still chipper and flowing along, but for some reason 5pm is it. I start to get a little depressed, and the kids begin to drive me nuts. Well, they've been anoying me for a while, but it all just seems worse after 5pm. At 5pm I need to start thinking about dinner. Brendan and Shaya are definitely up from their naps, and Alex is home from school and has exausted his hour of video game time. By 5pm all I want to do is hide away in my corner and knit..... or read.... or something that does not involve children. This seems a little strange to me after I have had at least 2 hours in the afternoon by myself. True, I usually spend this time working and maybe I resent the fact that my absolute free time has to be spent working.

It didn't used to be this bad, but DH no longer gets home by 2pm. It makes a huge difference when you know that shortly after noon you will no longer be alone. My uncle lives next door and has come over in the evenings quite a bit lately, which is nice, because this seems to fall right about 5pm. It really is a sanity saver.

On the bright side, today, I did get a good hour to knit uninterupted. I started my 3rd Rogue sweater. Yes, you heard that right. My third. I knit the first one for DH for my knitting Olympics project. I knit the second for my Mom about Christmas time (which I never got a picture of and which she managed to felt slightly the first wash out). This third one is finally for me. All me. I am making a cardigan version. I'm not really much of a pullover jacket kind of girl, but I would love a hooded cabled jacket. I have over 1500 yrds of beautiful green recycled wool. It has taken me over 6 months to find a wool sweater large enough for this project. Especially one that I liked the color and was soft enough. I love this color. It is stunning. The stitch definition is fabulous. The sweater is going to be perfect. I think the price is going to help make up for the $90 I spent on yarn for the Nantucket jacket. At $1 for one sweater and $90 for the other I think they even out. I laugh, though, because I know the zipper is going to cost more than the yarn for this sweater.

I started it on Tuesday evening and I just joined the pockets, which means that I'm most of the way up to the armpits. This pattern gets faster each time I knit it. I wonder who I'm going to knit the next one for. I think I'm in love.

I have already abandoned the pretty Cookie A. sock. I finished the first sock in a little over 24 hours, but the swoosh doesn't go all the way across the toe and it doesn't look right. I need to wrap my head around the math and try to figure out if I did something wrong, or if Cookie wrote the pattern so that only the largest, or smallest sPublishize swooshes right. If it's the latter, that means I need to do some recalculating. My brain just hasn't been up to that, so it just sits and languishes in it's zip lock bag.

And now it's almost 6pm and I need to cook some hamburger or dinner won't be on the table in time. Just 30 more minutes until DH gets home :D

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Entrelac Socks

Well, it took me a month and a half (mostly because I neglected them) the Entrelac socks are done. These are normal sized versions of the ones in the latest Interweave Knits. I'm pretty proud that I took this picture of myself using the timer on my new camera :D

Last year, my mom placed an order to Knitpicks and bought about 7 balls of sock yarn (as well as the yarn for her Rogue sweater, which I never did take a picture of). All in different colors, since I can make a pair of ankle socks from a single skein if i keep it simple. I have to admit that after knitting her 4 pairs of said ankle socks, I was getting a little sick of plain Jane socks. Since I didn't have enough of any one color for longer socks or intricate patterns, I thought the entrelac socks were perfect! I could use 2 different colors and get a full sized pair of socks.

These were a lot of fun to knit, but I think they took quite a bit longer than normal socks, what with the knitting and purling backwards and all. Now that they're off my needles, though, I have given myself permission to start a normal sized version of these. Isn't that toe fantastic?! I haven't been that fond of Cookie's patterns in Knitty (the disembodied leg unnerves me), but I Adore her knee sock sized socks. I already bought the German stocking pattern and am still eyeing Rhiannon.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Blanket Madness

A very good friend of mine is getting married in September. Like the wonderful knitter friend that I am, I decided that he and his new family (he's getting a wife and a kid all in one :D) needed a hand knit blanket to warm their new home. When he was here Jay picked out this blanket from Big Needle Knit Afghans.
The pattern calls for 27 skeins of Lambs Pride Superwash Bulky. This is a little out of my budget. I know that this is going to cost a good chunk of change, but I don't think I can fork over that much. So, I began my search for an alternative yarn. I picked up a ball of Lion Brand Woolese Quick and Thick and really didn't like the result. It is a nice soft yarn, but it is fairly loosely spun and ends up fuzzy looking. I figured that if it was this fuzzy just after knitting, I didn't want to see what it would be after a year of use.

In searching online, I narrowed my choices down to Patons Shetland Chunky and Plymouth Encore Chunky. They have the same composition, cost about the same, but are spun slightly differently and have slightly different color selections. I called a few yarn shops around (all of them are at least 45 minutes away!) and finally decided I would bite the bullet and drive to Boulder to Shuttles, Spindles, and Skeins. They have a huge selection, and I KNEW that they at least had Encore. Amazingly enough, they had both yarns I was considering. They also had Lambs pride in the superwash bulky! I couldn't find it anywhere online and they had it. After feeling it and noticing it was over $9 a skein, I ruled it out. The Encore was yarn was a little fuzzier and more of a raspberry red, so I bought one skein of the Shetland Chunky. I plan to swatch, unravel and figure out my yardage. I am using the cable pattern from the book, but am going to do my blanket in strips so that it is more portable and I feel like I'm accomplishing something as I knit. I will knit a swatch with the yarn held singly and doubled so that I can determine if I really like it better that way (the pattern in the book has 2 strands together). Once I figure out my gauge, and my yardage for 1 or 2 repeats, I'll figure out how many strips I need and then order my yarn.

Anyone know how much yarn I'll need to allot for the fringe?

So.... While I was there, I also saw the Plymouth Oh My display again. I had felt this the last time I was in the store (Mother's day of last year) and managed to resist buying some. It is the softest yarn I have ever touched. Remember that I handle angora and cashmere all the time. This stuff is divine. Last time, I didn't have a purpose for the yarn, other than that I loved it, and $20 for 4 balls for a tiny blanket seemed like too much. This time, though, I had already found out my cousin is having a baby shower next month. I had a baby to knit for, so I splurged on the yarn.

I finished this little car seat blanket in 2 days using 2 balls of blue and 2 balls of red. I probably would have bought more, but they only had a few balls in each color and these were the only 2 colors that looked boyish. It's ok, though, because it's just about right to tuck around a little one in a car seat, or for a small lovey to rub your face on when you're sleepy.

It was a really simple pattern that I adapted slightly from the one the yarn came with.
2 balls main color, and 2 balls boarder color "Oh My"
Size 10.5 36" Circular Needle

With main color: Cast on 47 stitches and knit in stockingette until you run out of yarn. Do not bind of.

With Boarder color:
Knit across top. Place marker.
Pick up 1 stitch for every other row along the side of the square. Place marker.
Pick up 47 stitches along the bottom. Place marker.
Pick up 1 stitch for every other row along the other long side of the square. Place marker. Do not turn.

Joining in the round, Purl 1 round.
Knit to within 1 stitch of first marker. Kfb, slip marker, kfb.
Repeat, increasing 1 stitch before and after each marker every knit round, and purling even on every purl round.

After 17 rounds, bind off purlwise.

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Yarn Harlot

I know that the blog has been a bit neglected this past month. The fact is, though, that I had a little mini breakdown earlier in the month where I just got so overwhelmed with everything. This was quite nicely resolved by a hot stone massage by my mom, the institution of Friday night movie night with my husband and a night out to see the Yarn Harlot. It's amazing what a little personal time can do for a person.

So, anyway, I got to go see the Yarn Harlot last night. She was absolutely worth all the fussing and fretting and scheming it took to see her! I had told DH that I wanted to go several times, which apparently he took to mean "I kinda want to go to this knitting thing if you're off work" instead of what I really meant which was "I REALLY want to go to this knitting thing. Could you take off work, or something dramatic so that I can go?" So, being that we both took this differently, it inevitably lead to a close miss with tears when I realized that DH had no intention of taking the day off and really did not care that this was so important to me. I began to scheme. We only have 1 car in the family since DH sprained his knee and can't ride the motorcycle. This means that in order to go, I would need 1) a baby sitter and 2) a ride or access to another car. My mom kind of wanted to go, but she would be about an hour in the opposite direction of where I live, thus making it impossible to pick me up and get there on time. My Grandma offered to take me if my mom could bring me home (which mom eventually realized that she couldn't go at all) assuming that I could have someone watch the kids. I thought that maybe someone could pick DH up from work instead of driving me. Then I would have the car. The problem was, though, that no matter how I plotted it involved 2 very kind souls going out of there way to help me get to an event that they probably wouldn't understand.

Then it hit me. The perfect solution. My uncle lives next door. He's great with the kids. He was off that night. He was willing to watch the kids for the 1 1/2 hours until DH got home (which turned into 5 hours because DH got his schedule wrong, but I digress) AND he was willing to let me borrow his truck to go down to Denver! I was ecstatic! I already think that my uncle is a saint for doing this for me (I don't get sitters that often) and when I got home, my living room was immaculate (it was, of course, trashed when I left) and the dishes were done! He gets the babysitter of the year award. I'm really glad I filled up his gas tank all the way.

The Yarn Harlot was amazing. She is way more funny in person than she is reading her work. Even the workers at the Tattered Cover were laughing with the rest of us. I'm sure they thought we were all a little nuts, but heck, there were 200 knitters in the same room who had started waiting as early as 8:30 in the morning (The event was at 7:30pm)!! The line waiting for numbered tickets to get into the room wound through their book cases and all around. There were everywhere, sitting happily on the floor, knitting, and chatting happily with the complete strangers who were standing next to them. I walked into the bookstore at 6:15 and ended up # 116 in line! Never underestimate the desire of knitters to see the

While I was # 116 in line, there were 2 seats RIGHT UP FRONT that the lady next to me in line and I snagged. How awesome! I guess just like in school, there are people who don't like to sit in the front row.

There were some really awesome people around us. There was the lady behind me who teaches spinning at Posh yarn shop in Denver. She was REALLY nice, and that alone made me want to go and visit the store.

There was the lady who ACTUALLY SPUN AND MADE the amazing socks on the cover of the newest Spin Off Magazine! I actually got to hold them! They were stunning and so very fine. I am in awe. Amazingly enough, the editor of Spin Off was there too! Who knew that we had such royalty in our midst in Denver. There were people spinning and knitting everywhere and chatting happily together since we're all really the same.

My neighbor took a picture of me in the crowd, and although, I look dorky, I am sitting next to a really awesome couple. This husband and wife BOTH knit. She was knitting a flip top mitten, and he was knitting a hat. They are from Alaska and just happened to be visiting their son in Boulder and saw that The Harlot was going to be here. How cool is that?!
(Please note that I have a new camera and after the first few yellowish pictures I decided I could adjust the white balance. I love that feature)

In this picture you can see the guys who were sitting behind me. One of the guys had several piercings and was happily knitting away on a sock. This sock to be exact. I found it very ironic that a guy happened to be knitting the phallic shaped Blue Moon sock. The lady who had been there since 8:30am was mostly through with the foot of an Entralac sock from Interweave knits, and there was a lady behind us who was working on a square for Lizard Ridge.

It was so awesome to see everyone knitting and to say "Hey! I know that pattern!"

Then the Harlot arrived! She looks a little nervous doesn't she? She's a lot smaller than she looks in pictures. Her personality is bigger though :D

The Sock Shot. Don't you just love reciprocal blogging?

And finally at about 10pm I got my book signed by the Harlot, and got to hold the sock. She held my handspun shrug, which I'm thinking of frogging for the 4th time. It needs to be perfect darn it!

I didn't get home until after 11 (which is WAY past my bed time) and DH was worried. He didn't think a knitting book signing could last that long. Silly Muggle.

PS. Knitters Without boarders has now raised over 1/2 a million dollars total for Doctors without boarders. The muggle shop keepers were astounded by that. Especially since 130k of that was in 72 hours. Fear us.

PPS. Did you know that knitters are the #1 users of bloglines?