Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Is The Day Beginning Or Ending?

Good morning, everyone...I've been pretty mopey this month until about three days ago, when I realized I have things like deadlines that need to be kept.  And I should really bathe the dogs.

Anyway, June is a huge knitting month in Chicago.  Huge.  The only month that may be bigger is August.  So hopefully I'll be getting off my butt to write more about knitting.  We have World Wide Knit In Pubilc Day (well, week) coming up, the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair, sales all over the local yarn shop world...it will basically be a very fun month to at least shop for yarn, even if it ends up being too hot to knit without air conditioning.

June's pattern is pretty well ready to be sent out to the Scarf of the Month subscribers, and I have about four ideas for July.  I should probably pick one, and go with it...

I'm open to suggestions.  One of them uses ribbon yarn and increases, one uses laceweight yarn, one uses twisted stitches, and they will probably all be released at some point throughout the year.  For now, though, I'm open to suggestions.  Anyone have a vote on which is the next scarf pattern you want to see?  Oh, speaking of which...I also published the blog post about making the knitting pins on Ravelry.  Why should my teeny weeny circle of readers be the only ones who can do something with ten yards of yarn?


By the way, today's Knit Tips Tuesday is about yarnovers.  Because sometimes, you actually want to make them on PURPOSE (as opposed to me, who yarns over on pretty much every knit-to-purl change in the middle of a row):


Goodness...I should probably start my day.  I have zero words of wisdom today...just wanted to say hello to my knitting friends and family.  Oh, and go see "The Avengers."  Two hours of both Chris Evans AND Chris Hemsworth?  Sign me up!  Have a good day, everybody.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Knit Purl Knit Purl Knit Purl...

So here I am, groggy and exhausted from working too many hours and then getting a call at four in the morning (he's forgiven...I knew the call was coming but what makes me angry is that I was already awake), and of course not going back to sleep and waking back up at nine or so. that would have been ideal.  But whatever.

Nothing a spot of green tea can't fix.

So I took a hiatus from life last week, and today's Knit Tips Tuesday is about working with double-pointed needles.  Sometimes I curse them, and other times I adore them...it really depends on the day.  I guess it boils down to how fiddly I'm feeling; while I can sing like an angel, I can also fuck up with the best of them and slide pretty things right off of a pair of double-pointed needles.

Here is the article:


And then, I listed my May Scarf Pattern of the Month on Etsy.  It's named after a town in France, since it's sort of a French-girl scarf.  The feedback has been positive so far, including from our friends at Knitting Fever, who manufacture and distribute Sublime Yarns:


So there you go.  Today, I will be formatting June's pattern, drinking more green tea and eating bits of food my body can actually play with and digest (as opposed to chocolate sugar cookies, which was what my diet mostly consisted of yesterday), and maybe clip a coupon or two and save some cash at the grocery store.  I should also make an effort to try and finish the sample of the June scarf, even though the pattern is done, the blocking is half done, the yarn is still gorgeous...

Or I'll take a nap.  I'm not feeling very motivated.

But hey...the bright side is that I wrote an article, I posted a pattern for sale, I got in my car and drove across the county line for cheaper sales tax on hot water, and I have short-term ambition.  Maybe today will be lovely after all!

And finally, for those of you who  missed the photo of Bluto proving he is the most useless of all pit bulls, completely incapable of mauling joggers even if they were wearing Lady Gaga's meat dress, here is the proof.  By the way, we just looked over and saw him this way...it's not as if we staged the pillows on him:

Have a good day!  Make like Bluto.  Pile yourself between a bunch of pillows as if you are the creme filling of an Oreo cookie.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

That Damn Sock

Good morning, everyone!  I've been on a bit of a hiatus from pretty much everything, but I think I'm finally snapping out of it.  Tonight, I'm going to outline the next few articles for Examiner.com, and I've actually accomplished a ton over the past week or so.

Yesterday, I went on my second bike ride of the year, and I'm paying for it today.  See, I don't know if all of you are like me, but that phrase "It's just like riding a bike" can be taken so literally that your rational self just completely tunes out.  Example:  last year, in Texas, I rode my bike all of twice because I was too afraid to ride down the streets of Katy without dying.  While I did make an effort to walk everywhere, as I have done since I moved back as well, walking and riding use different sets of muscles.

Last week, I got on the bike for the first time this year; every time I tried to ride previously, it was either raining sideways, raining cats and dogs (no wind but a blinding amount of water), or it was fifty and so windy that even MY hair was blowing.  I rode to Oak Park last week...it's about eight and a half miles.  Felt glorious.  Knitted all day.  Rode home.  Still felt glorious.

Yesterday, I was convinced that the one round-tripper from last week got me into shape, so I rode to Deerfield  and back.  Deerfield is about fourteen miles away, through some moderate hills, and I was into a twenty-mile-per-hour wind.  Duh.  So today, I feel like I was riding with a four-year-old on my shoulders, and instead of a Raleigh Cadent 5.0 '06, I was actually riding a plastic Big Wheel.  Live and learn.

I have two projects in my bag at the moment.  The first one is the sample for the June Scarf Pattern of the Month.  The pattern has been done for quite a while, but the sample still needs to be completed...even though I know the math works, and the pattern has no mistakes, I have to actually finish and block the sample.  So there.  The other project...shame on me...is that damn sock.

From what I understand, socks come in pairs.  You have to finish one, and then you have to finish another one, and THEN you have a finished project.  This is the precise reason I like to knit little instant-gratification wonders, and why I choose unique seamless garments over complicated ones.  If I bind off, I have completed a project.  So if I finish...say...a sleeve, I am damn-well convinced I'm done.

This sock would be part of a first-ever pair of socks, if I actually complete it.  It has been on the needles since probably December or January.  I should have started my sock adventure with toe-up, two-at-a-time socks, so I could complete the pair all at once.  But NOOOOOO...

I still have my kimono sweater that I bust out every week or so, but it's just miles and miles of stockinette stitch at this point...it's what you do when you're waiting for the pre-empt of the president's speech to finish so you can get back to watching Days of our Lives.

Right now, I'm on a string of four days off because I was owed a day from two weeks ago, when I covered for my counterpart as she was still on vacation.  I did a fair amount of knitting yesterday, and riding, and I clipped all of my coupons (I'm not a mad Shelf Clearing Rebate Accumulating Nutcase, but I do like saving money so I can live better), and I wrote a letter to my tenants with an outline of their new rent.  Today's plan involves almost finishing the sample (I won't finish it, but I can probably get close).  Maybe...just maybe...I will also bust out that damn sock.  To harbor any guilt I feel for needing my size 3 double-points for any other project, I knit about two needles' worth per week.  Sometimes more.  By about 2015, I should have a completed pair of maiden-voyage socks.

For now, I hope everyone has a good and productive day!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Call In Well Instead of Sick

Good morning!  Where have I been, you ask?  Nowhere.  The following are all true statements as to what I have done since my last post:

1.  Started and nearly finished a prayer shawl for a friend with cancer (that damn crocheted edging is KILLING me...what was I thinking?).
2.  Convinced the government I was worthy of a grant to the tune of seven grand, all because I run a failing business.
3.  Listen to a god-fearing woman tell me I should avoid porn and leave my baggage packed up.
4.  Posted a teaser-photo, only to get a great compliment from the company that makes the yarn in the photo.
5.  Re-lived the moment in "The Blues Brothers" when Jake and Elwood decided to get the band back together.

Yes, some of those items are out of context, but word-for-word, they are all true.

My employer (who I very rarely mention by name) is a big supporter of the Children's Miracle Network, and the local hospital for which they raise money is the current Children's Memorial Hospital.  On the first weekend of June, the hospital is relocating and becoming the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital.  This made me realize one and only one thing:  I want to be important enough...and rich enough to make a large grant...for a children's hospital to be named after me.

St. Jude was started because Danny Thomas was failing in Hollywood, and prayed to St. Jude (the patron saint of hopeless cases) that if he had great success, he would build a shrine in his name.  How's THAT for delivering on a promise?

Anyway, I am going to be walking for Children's Miracle Network during our fundraising period, in an unconventional way.  I'm going to be walking on a treadmill at the front door, greeting customers and putting a tip jar in front of me for customers to donate to the cause.  Yes, I'll go nowhere fast, but BOY will it be worth it.  I may have to find a job-approved way of getting the date and location into the paper (well, the internet) so people can come and donate.

On the knitting front, stay tuned for an article later today.  Last month, I had over two thousand hits on my page...I wrote an article about what to knit for your teen, and three major yarn companies retweeted it to their followers.  The article had 56 likes on facebook.  Obviously, this isn't going to get me my millions to open that hospital, but it could be the start of something bigger, no?

I already have the pattern ready for June, and I have to finish knitting the sample but Tiny E and I have not found an error in the pattern.  Here is a teaser for the pattern in May...it's the only one I'm releasing to those who did not subscribe to the series:

Also, I have been feeling a bit discombobulated for the last month, so I decided that it's time to get organized.  The bottom fell out when I realized my car insurance bill was going to be late (as if that's the end of the world, but if you know me, you know what a big deal that is).  So this may include organizing my yarn stash, cleaning, putting things away, throwing things out, and even alphabetizing.  But the breaks will involve knitting my current projects; my goal is to have only two projects on needles by the time I am finished.

Stop laughing.  Nothing is wrong with shooting big and missing.  Be well!