Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Start of Christmas Presents

I have a lot of people at work who I would like to do a little something for during the holidays that wouldn't make them feel obligated to give me a gift back. I think I've found the perfec thing. I found this cute pattern for miniature hats a couple of days ago. They're super easy. I'm going to knit a bunch of them and then buy a fun bottled drink like a Starbuck's frappacino or Godiva coffee drinik and put a little hat on it. Then I'll leave the drink and hat on my different friends' desks. Not much cost to me, but I'll make some people happy, I think.

I took my cyber-buddies' advice and stuck with myLoksins and finished them last night. Wait a minute..they're not mine. They're my sister's Christmas present. She doesn't read my blog very often, so I think I'm safe to tell. I really did like the pattern. I can easily see myself knitting this pattern again. I do often feel that my handknit socks are too loose, but I think it's mostly that they're just a different fit.
It really is a wonder that I am able to get any knitting accomplished. This picture is not staged. The only animal missing from trying to stake out a position on my lap is our rabbit, and he probably would try too if we let him in the house.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Books, Books, Books

I don't know how many knitting books I have, but I don't feel like I have wasted my money buying any of them. My favorites are on the history of knitting, which I can imagine a non-knitting enthusiast cringing at. "What could be more boring than knitting?...reading about knitting." Well, too bad. I remember buying Richard Rutt's History of Knitting when it first came out. We were on a camping trip, and I lay in the tent for most of the afternoon savoring every word. Knitting books are great!
I haven't really read much from this set of books, Journeys Through Bookland It's special to me because it belonged to my grandparents. They had a fire that destroyed almost everything several years before I was born and these books were one of the few items saved...I think. Now I''m wondering what in the heck they were doing carrying out a set of books from a blazing fire. My uncle and cousin were staying with them that night because my aunt had just given birth to another baby and was still in the hospital. It could have been such a tragedy. Instead, it was something that I always knew about and was kind of intrigued by. My grandpa found my grandmother's wedding ring among the ashes because they knew where the piano she had left it on had stood. Back to the books, I loved going to my grandparents' home. These books were in one of the cozy bedrooms along with another set of storybooks that I would read and read. My own parents aren't too big on nostalgia, but I made sure that they knew how badly I wanted this set. I wa probably a pain about it; I do have three other siblings, and one of them is a bigger bibiophile than I am. But, I ended up with them, and I love having them.
My husand and I have eclectic tastes in books. We use the library a lot, but also like to own books we love. It's probably cheaper than way since we have a little problem with library fines. It's not like we have thousands of books...I think; but we have hundreds...OK, maybe we do have a thousand counting our kids' books.

I've been just messing around all morning, wasting time but having fun. Julie had a link on her page to her Library thing book list. I checked it out and now have another avenue to waste hours of my time. Thanks, Julie! I've started my own library, and have the link in my sidebar. It's really fun to think about and categorize your books. I'm a funny reader for an English major. I'm not that good of a reader, as in not that careful of a reader. I can read well if I want to. I do not like to have to work very hard reading, which may be why I like Barbara Kingsolver and Sue Monk so much. They write contemplative stuff that doesn't require much concentration on your part. I've tried reading Kristin Lavransdatter and Anne Karinina innumerable times, but I can't discipline myself enough to finish them. I have recently read two modern book. One first one was Water for Elephants, which I really liked and pretty much read every word of, but this week I read The Thirteenth Tale, which I also really liked. I wouldn't want to have to take a test on it though. I got kind of bored by the end and started skimming. I do that a lot. And here's another tidbit. i have no intention of correcting this habit!

I've been knitting, but I don't really have anything new to show off, so I'll show off some stuff from my backyard. I'm kind of envious of people who post pictures of snow in their backyards this time of year because of how cozy it is indoors when it's snowing outside. On the other hand, it's kind of fun to see my garden come to life again after seeing everything suffer through our miserable summers here in Central California. So, here are some views of what I'm currently seeing in my backyard this week.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tenacity Works....Sometimes

I started this Loksin sock at least five times. As I said in my lat post, the problem is not with the pattern, at all. It's an easy one. I don't quite have it memorized but nearly. I'm just too inattentive. I like getting into the rhythm of knitting, and this pattern requires you to think. I kept confusing the symbol "/" which means knit together with "\" which means SSK. I'm nearly finished with the first sock, but, of course, I'm tempted to start something else. That's a habit that I've developed from reading other blogs. Now that I know that lots of other people do it, I'm tempted to give in to it too.

While I was visiting my LYS to replenish several of my "puppy-fied" knitting needles, I could help noticing some pretty Christmas colors of Cascade yarn. I knit my pumpkins out of Cascade, and it's a nice yarn to work with, so I bought three skeins. I'm not sure what I'll do with them, but I might knit some Christmas ornaments. I found this pattern from The Yarnery and might try it.

That brings me to the topic of how I found The Yarnery. They had an ad in the Interweave Knits Holiday Knits that I bought last weekend. I shouldn't even include the link because it's sold out. I can completely understand why because it is wonderful. As I've said before, I'm so happy with this magazine lately. There are at least ten projects in there that I'd like to do, and then I found the link to The Yarnery, which has such fun stuff to order.I have plenty of Christmas stuff to finish up, but I'm about ready to shell out $26 to buy the kit to make these little snowmen. I could leave them up to keep things cheerful after I have to take down my Christmas decorations, couldn't I?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Knit, Rip, Knit, Rip

I have no knitting to report whatsoever. It's not that I haven't been knitting I have knit and reknit my Loksins at least five times. It's not even a difficult pattern. I just haven't concentrated I guess. I also tried to make them with a picot edge, which I love, but I didn't get the tension right; so I'm starting over again. Yikes!

I'll just post a picture of my daughter and her best friend. She's the "red head" (this week) on the left. I'm very proud of her; she letters in three sports and has had straight A's all through high school. She also regularly drives me crazy and is usually the source for any of my "tossing and turning" nights. She has fairly good sense, but she still worries me. She recently got her learner's permit, which is an additional cause for me to worry. I will admit that I much prefer having her in the back seat with her earphones and her books, ignoring us. How can we possibly trust any teenagers to drive? in my teacher and parent opinion, even "good" teenagers like Paige are crazy a good deal of the time. We shouldn't let them behind the wheel until they are twenty at least. I'm just saying.

I'll also post a picture of our sleeping puppy. I like her best when she is sleeping. I no longer think that her diabolical obsession with yarn and wooden knitting needles is cute. She has destroyed at least four of my Brittany knitting needles. The mayhem has ceased only because I have become more dilligent about not leaving my knitting lying around! Yes, there is another dog behind her. Our older (previously not recognized as perfect but now greatly appreciated beagle) Rowdy loves her, except when she bites his ears!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Good Stuff

I received my winter issue of Knits today. I'm kind of surprised because I had thought that maybe I had let that subscription lapse. I'm really glad that I didn't though. I've liked Knits better than Knitter's for a quite a while now, and I think I've blogged about my reasons before. For me, knitting is not simply a hobby. I feel like knitting has greater dept than a hobby. It goes with organic gardening, homecooked meals, and comfortably furnished cottages with white picket fences; it goes with walking on the beach or in the woods. I liked Knitters when it first came out because it seemed to represent that. Here's this old woman (Elizabeth Zimmerman) on one of the first covers, and then you find out she lives in a convert barn out in the country! There were historical pieces about knitting in Cornwall or Wales and knitters who raised their own sheep. Now I feel like Knitters is too slick. It reminds me of Vogue a little bit, and I don't particularly like Vogue either. Knits came out just when I was starting to feel that Knitter's wasn't the magazine I had liked for so long. I liked Eunny Jang's blog before she became editor of Knits, and she seems to have brought her style with her. There's such a nice mix of somewhat trendy pattern ideas that I can acutally see myself or my daughter wearing, an historical article or two, and wonderful classic pattern to consider knitting or just enjoying. Knits has embraced technology without givng up the down-to-earth approach that make me like them in the first place.

What's the yarn sitting there on top of my magazine you ask? Why it's two skeins of Claudia's Handpainted Yarn in Baby Girl that I ordered from the Loopy Ewe on Wednesday night, I think it was. I am almost a Loopy Groupie which basically means that I have spent way too much money on sock yarn lately. I've been finding so much inspiration lately though too. Of course, there are my favorite blogs like Wool Windings and Willow Way Knitting to name a few, but I've also discovered Kniity Chick's Sock it to Mepage, Monica Knit..A Lot, and Yearns for Yarn. I even ordered one of Monica's great patterns this week.

I knit a lot of little pumkins this week, but I also started on my loksin socks. I like the pattern although I'm not sure that my sock look like some the others I've seen.

I haven't even joined the Anne of Green Gables Knit Along, but I've been reading the books, which got me to thinking about other old favorites of that genre. I love A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich, a Nebraska author. I only had a beat-up paperback copy, so I ordered this library edition from Amazon. It was $5.00. I'd say that was worth it. I guess it's obvious that I love "old" books.