Knitting Navy Wife

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Rain, rain, go away...

Logan wants to go out and play!

Or better yet mommy wants Logan to go out and play! We have some sort of system parked off the coast that is keeping the rain coming up the coast inland and continually dumping on us. The weather man explained it much better than I did. In short the past 4 days have been thunderstorms, rain, more thunder, some pretty lightening, did I mention rain, and of course more rain. The flooding in DC, Virginia and Maryland are evidently pretty history making. The weather man says in the 25 years he's been doing weather here he's never seen anything like this. And I left Seattle partly to get away from the rain!

The good thing about rain is I have plenty of knitting time (when I'm not trying to keep Logan from sitting on his sister or refereeing some other sibling 'discussion') and am actually making progress on a lace shawl and my FLAK. Another good thing is my garden is loving it. It's no longer this lovely brown rectangle in my back yard, there are actually things growing! The bad thing is I have no pictures to show any progress. Those who knit lace will understand when I say right now it looks like a rather large mess of yarn. Since the shwal I'm working on is a square knitted in the round (is that possible? Sounds like trying to put a round peg in a square hole.) it really looks like a bag shaped mess of yarn. I have no excuse for having no pictures of my FLAK except that it's made of wool and I put it away until I can bear the thought of having that much wool sitting in my lap.

Pictures of some actual knitting progress soon. I promise!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Navy has left the building

No really, he has! As I type this (if I do the math right) he's sound asleep on the other side of the world in Bahrain. So far I haven't gone completely nuts. Or at least any nuttier than I already am. I mean, what do you expect living exclusively with two kids who have a very limited vocabulary. I'll be lucky if I'm not in a loony bin somewhere by the time he gets home!

On the bright side, before he left I did get up to Yarns International and did some pretty good damage to the credit card. Not major damage though. I'll have to do better next time. The only reason I spent as much as I did was the purchase of A Gathering of Lace. Too many pretty, lacey things to make in that book and since that was the last book I had looked through before I went can you blame me for getting all of this?

Jamieson and Smith Spindthrift in mostly grey with a grey blue accent skein. For the Short-row pullover, I think I may actually have found something lacey and feminine that I'll wear.

Jamieson and Smith jumper weight. This is for the Faux Russian Stole. I may be about 50 yards short but I got all they had so I'll hold my breath and pray. Lovely color called Cinnamon Bark.

This is for..... I haven't a clue! J&S DK weight, 3 skeins, gorgeous Pine green color. Had to have it for, um, stash enhancement. Yeah, that's it. :-)

Tahki Cotton Classic in Black. I need a nice shoulder bag so this is for the Hexagonal Shoulder Bag.

Koigu. For socks of course. Do I have a pattern in mind? No, I just know they will be socks, honest. They will not end up aging in my stash for the next year or so, I promise. At least that's the plan. Very pretty grey with a subtle varigation that I couldn't pass up.

This is some really pretty Manos del Uruguay. Burgandys, browns and blues that are destined to become a pair of felted slippers for me.

So did everyone notice there is absolutely nothing to show for actual progress on knitting? Only stash acquistion? I really have plans to knit lots this summer. Including the Frost Flowers and Leaves shawl. I think I'll need to get some nice pewter colored Zephyr for that. (uh-oh, more stash acquistion) Jeff's overseas for a while and I only have the kids. The only reason there isn't anything to show in the way of progress is we've been working like crazy to get things done around here before he left so I didn't have to worry about too much while he was gone. We did pretty good but not everything got done. Mostly it was little stuff that didn't get done so we're good.

And since he's gone, I'll leave you with the last family portrait we had taken before he left:

Ack! A goatee! Where did that come from? Oh, wait he's been on leave and didn't feel like shaving. You should be glad I got him to clean it up before the pictures. He looked way too scruffy before that.

And since she turned one and according to her, she is the center of the universe (didn't you get the memo?) :

Proud mommy must tell you that the picture on the right ended up on the wall of the picture place we had these done. They thought it was too darn cute.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The demise of the Entrelac socks

I finished one. I really did. I then realized that upon trying the sock on it was a bit too tight and rather difficult to get on over my ankle. I had to decide if I really wanted to torture myself and rip out the first sock and try to knit it on bigger needles (not to mention knit a second sock) or scrap the whole idea, admit that I fought the sock and the sock won, and use this very lovely yarn for another pair of socks entirely. Scrapping the whole idea won out. But just to prove I tried something new (kind of like trying broccoli in some new way so I can say I did it) heres the lone sock I did complete:

You can't really see it but the toe still has the needles in it. I didn't want to break the yarn until I had tried it on one last time in case it really was too tight.

I've frogged the foot back to where the entrelac section ended and all I have left of the sock to remind me of this experience is this :

You may ask why I'm keeping this reminder of a sock I really didn't enjoy knitting. Answer? I'm keeping it so the next time I am tearing my hair out over a lace pattern, or a complicated aran sweater, I can pull out this cuff and remember that there is nothing worse to me than this entrelac sock.

In other knitting news, I've returned for a time to my FLAK. I've been seeing the pictures of other FLAKer's finished sweaters and really want to see mine done. I haven't had much knitting time lately since Jeff is leaving in 3 days and there's so much to be done before he leaves. Ack! Did I really see that right? 3 days? That's all I have left before he's gone for a year?! Well on the bright side I'll be getting a few more projects done when he's gone and have a bunch more stuff for blogging about and showing you. Something else that has been a benefit of him leaving. Since he doesn't think I'll be doing much shopping at the LYS while he's gone (yeah, right), what with having the kids and all (you try taking two kids under the age of 4 to a yarn store, I don't recommend it!) he's sending me off to do some yarn shopping tomorrow. He doesn't need to tell me twice! I'm heading over to Yarns International to see what damage I can do to the credit card. They are closing their brick and mortar store and going to an on-line store only with some shows here and there. I have some projects in mind that I MUST have yarn for so we'll see what I can find. I'll have to post what I end up with.

In the meantime, here's a picture of Sidney at her first birthday party. She's just starting in on the cake:

And of course, here she is with the after math.

I've seen worse.

Friday, May 19, 2006

The emperors new socks

Last night I showed Jeff my new socks in progress and asked his opinion. I should know better.... (sigh) This is the man who I have never been able to knit anything for and who doesn't really understand my obsession (yes, it is an obsession. I like that word better than addiction) with all things to do with knitting. Why he woudn't understand I don't know. He has his own addiction with Warhammer and anything from Games Workshop and can spend long periods of time modeling, painting, and showing them to me all the while expecting me to gush over his hobby. I will admit he has a lot of talent and I'm impressed, but I dont' know how many times I can look at the same miniature model of an elf or dwarf and ooh and ahh over it! I can't model like he can but then he can't knit at all. He tried cross stitch once but he picked a truly difficult project to start with and that lasted about a week. I may have to finish that one for him someday.
Back to the sock. I got an entrelac sock kit about 4 years ago. It was before I had ever tried knitting socks. I saw it knitted up in the shop, thought it was cool and just had to try it. I made 2 or 3 attempts to get it started and finally threw up my hands in disgust and consigned it to the depths of my stash. I've decied entrelac is the work of some truly sadistic person. One of the knitting groups was having a discussion recently about entrelac and one of the ladies there said she loved doing it. I offered her the kit and passed it on to her the next time I saw her. A month later she gave me back the kit telling me her calves were chubby enough and the sock would make them chubbier. Ack! I can't get rid of this thing so I guess I'll have to knit it myself! It's not really that difficult it'll just be a pain to weave in all the ends. This is where I'm at on the first sock:

I'm using Interlacements Toasty Toes with a size 5 needle. I may have to go up a size. They're a bit snug trying to get them on over my ankle. Once they're on though they fit great. I'll just have to see how they fit when they are done. I really love the colors and it's a joy to work with. Unfortunately the colors don't show up too well in this picture. I'll get some better ones when I finally finish these. I showed Jeff the sock like this he said it was great but that my toes were going to get cold. Grr! He can't just give me a straight answer, always has to make a joke! I told him these were the emperors new socks and couldn't he see how beautiful they were? I should be able to finish this up this evening and I'll start the second one just so I can get them out of the stash and the yarn can quit making me feel guilty!

The home improvements are continuing. So many projects in so many states of completion. I hope I have some hair left when it's all done. The fence is almost done, the garden is in (now if I can just keep the rabbits away. Having the fence completed will help), the bathroom is almost completed and we're going out today to get some sort of playset for the two munchkins in the house. And there are a bunch of things still on the list that haven't even been started yet!

My youngest is napping right now and her brother is at school so I'm off to move more brush.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Maryland Sheep and Wool (among other things)

We went to Maryland Sheep and Wool. We saw, we ate, and most importantly.... we SHOPPED!! Ok, I shopped and Genia enabled. Gotta love her.
But first an update on the ankle. I went to the orthopedic surgeon for a follow up on the 1st and he verified what I'd figured out in the emergency room. The guy who told me my ankle was broken was an idiot! The ankle was never broken, cracked or chipped so I think said orthopedic guy in the emergency room needs to go back to school! This was good news and I was able to walk around MS&W with no problems.
And since Sue has been moving merrily along and waiting patiently to show off here she is showing off her cute ruffly (is that a word?) legs:

She's actually a bit farther on but my camera and computer decided not to talk to each other, or maybe the memory card is messed up, and there are a bunch of pictures stuck in the camera.

But I did get some pictures of the stuff I got at Sheep and Wool! Not all of it but enough to tease you with.

I understand this was the find of the weekend if you were there early Saturday. When we got the The Fold booth the Socks that Rocks was almost gone but I managed to get these two skeins, both in colors I really like, I think she sold out completely of this yarn about 10 minutes after we left:

A little farther along I found this sock yarn:

Both are from Flock Bransonas or Bransonas Shetlands. They mostly had roving but in the back of the booth they had some beautiful hand dyed sock yarn. I really like the colors of these and in my personal opinion I like them better than the Socks that Rock. I like them both in the skein but I think these will win out once knitted up. The colorway of the skein on the left is named "Alana". Can you understand why I had to have that one in particular?

Genia has decided to tackle my aversion/fear of two color knitting. As soon as she and I can get together we're going to do a mitten knit-a-long with this:

100% alpaca. It's really soft and I can always use more mittens!

This is destined to be a Clapotis:

Fleece Artist 100% merino. I was really into reds and oranges at Sheep and Wool this year. I spotted this just as we were about to leave and not having a clue and needing a justification to but yet more yarn, I turned to Genia and asked,
"What can I make with this, it's 750 meters?"
Genia: "A Clapotis"
Me: "Sold!"
I told you she was a great enabler.

We also discovered a new breed of sheep (well it was new to us since neither of us had heard of it before)

This isn't a really good picture of the sheep and her baby, I was using a different camera than normal. You can't really see her long wavy/curly wool. She's called a Wensleydale. Spinners really like this wool because it has nice long staples. It's also pretty soft.

I ended up getting this Wensleydale wool to make a pair of gloves out of (notice the orangy color once again? It's actually more of a copper, but it has that orange feel):

And last but not least (there are a couple more things I got but the pics are stuck in the camera!) is this wool I picked up:

Two unique things about this yarn.
1. I have no clue what I'm going to do with it. Everything else I managed to think of something to make before I bought it.


2. It's neither orange nor red! Ok, burgandy is in the red family but I'm still saying it's not red!

There were a couple of other things I got but like I said my camera isn't cooperating so I'll have to save those for another day.

I haven't had much real knitting time lately. We've been working on the house like crazy to get everything ready before Jeff leaves for overseas so I don't have to worry about much while he's gone (and I'll have more time to knit ). I'm not looking forward to him being gone but well, that's the life of a military wife.

And I'll leave you all with this. The scene of the crime and the perpetrators.

Notice the innocent looks. The 'we're not doing anything wrong mommy.' appearance. But the clues are there. Both of them are ignoring me in the hopes I won't notice the empty tissue box in Logan's hands and the shredded tissue all over his sister Sidney. I would say Logan was the brains behind this caper and Sidney followed along with her big brother. He emptied the box and she tried to shred the evidence.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

How to get 4 uninterrupted hours of knitting time

You break a bone in your foot and spend the time in the emergency room knitting. Yep, you heard it right. Madam klutz chipped, cracked or broke (depending on which dr I was talking to) a bone in her foot near her ankle. I'm not really sure how I did it either. You know those moments when you're walking along and the next thing you know you're flat on your face and have no idea how it happened? I had one of those. I was walking into the local AC Moore with a 50% off coupon to get a ball winder and splat right in the middle of the parking lot. Missed a step and rolled over my right ankle. Hurt like blazes for a few but once the pain subsided I had a decision to make. Get back in the truck or continue on and get my ball winder. I'm a knitter, what do you think I did? I got the ball winder of course, it was 50% off. It would have added insult to injury if they had been out of them but they weren't.

After doing the errand I was out for, I called Jeff and told him what I had done and would he please meet me at the door. He did, helped me hobble in and I sat in the comfy chair and iced it for a while until I decided it had a weird swelling and maybe going to the emergency room was a good idea.

Now remember the two munchkins that live here? We called our awesome neighbors to watch them for a bit until Jeff's brother, David could get up here and babysit. So they're taken care of for the night. Oh, forgot to tell you it's about 8:30 by now. Off to the hospital we go. But wait! It gets better. My dear darling husband realized he left his military id (which he needs to get onto the base where the hospital is) at the base he works at in the opposite direction from the hospital. Any brownie points he had gained for taking care of me and getting me in the car, etc. just flew right out the window. We get his id and we're finally off to the hospital. We get to the beltway and merge on.

Me: Honey why are you going the wrong way?
Jeff: I'm not, stop worrying
Me: Um, honey that's the exit that's one before ours to get home.
Jeff: %*%*#@ (he's losing more brownie points here)

We turn around and finally get going in the right direction and make it to the hospital at 10pm. A 30 minute trip took us and hour and a half. I love him but he's going to give me more grey hairs.

Before we left I had grabbed a project that didn't need too many directions to knit on. One of the UFO's that I had stuffed in my craft room until I stumbled across it again and looked at it guiltily. The Aran Weight Victorian Lace Shawl went with me. I was not about to spend who knows how long in the emergency room without any knitting. And even though I wasn't thrilled with this project it was mindless knitting, just what I needed. This is another reason to start knitting socks more often. They're easily portable. Now Sue the Ewe is also portable but needs more thinking than I could give to a project, so the shawl it was.

After two sets of x-rays (the first ones weren't good enough), a visit with the doctor, a visit with the orthopedic surgeon (who's bedside manner can be compared to Gengis Khan) and long breaks in between, I had added about 5 inches onto the shawl (it's almost done! there's a silver lining to everything). Sorry I don't have any pictures for you, it's still on the needles and looks like a bunch of grey spaghetti. I'd also gotten used to the wheelchair they made me use and was having fun zipping down the halls from x-ray.

I was finally stuffed (and I do mean stuffed, that orthopedic must have forgotten the part of his oath that says do no harm) into a fracture boot and we were on our way home. Ick 2:30am! I will admit the drive home was entertaining. Two sleep deprived people listening to a comedy channel on XM radio is scary. I don't recommend it.

We made it home at 3am. All the kids were asleep and David was crashed on the futon. Jeff and I crawled into bed and were back up at 7am to start the day. Where's my coffee?!

Since I wasn't able to do much else I made a bit of progress on Sue.

She's much easier to knit than I thought she would be and I'm having a great time working on her. I like the idea of knitting something unconventional. And since the ball winder is what started all this, she's sitting on top of the first ball I wound with it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I'm back, did ya miss me?

Well I know of at least one person who did. I was reprimanded last night at one of my knitting group get togethers about my lack of blogging. If that's what it takes to get me back here I won't be too upset. I’ve come to post a few times since I finished my knitting Olympics project and every time I see that post it blows my mind all over again and any coherent thoughts I had to blog about fly right out the window. Did I mention that shawl only took me 4 days to finish? Ok, you’re tired of that. Time to move on.

I’ve started a new Knit-a-long (like I need another one, right?). I’m going to be knitting Sam the Ram. Check out the picture and tell me he isn’t the neatest thing you have ever seen. Now just to start off slowly I decided to knit his girlfriend Sue the Ewe first to get the body shaping straight in my head before adding the Aran stuff. Now Sue wears a lovely lace shawl and since I have successfully knit a few shawls, including Peacock Feathers, I figured it would be a nice easy way to work into Sue. The shawl for Sue is only about 27” across so how hard could it be? Anyone out there see the knitting gods about to strike me down? I didn’t . After knitting merrily along (and thinking how easy this was and how quickly it was going) I got slapped! The shawl is designed very cleverly so the size can be adjusted by the amount of yarn you have, and can even be knitting for an adult to wear. I love it! However, once the patterns are established in the shawl you’re on your own until you turn the corner in the center. I had to think! And do math! And remember what row of each pattern I was on! I cracked. I’m not proud of it but I did. I should have read (and not scoffed at) the part about the pattern being “quite complicated”. After stuffing the shawl in a bag on a shelf for a while until it behaved itself and figuring out a way that I could work with the pattern, I pulled it back out, had a talk with it, told it to behave and finally finished it:

It hasn't been blocked yet, but after all the grief I took from it I had to show it off. It's going to look quite spiffy around Sue's neck. (Is anyone else scared that I used the word spiffy?)

The FLAK is moving right along. After knitting a total of 4 sleeves I'm ready to start the body. I'm really liking how it's turning out too. Especially after the work so far!

Now for the answer about the 4 sleeves and why the picture only shows 2. I had some math issues, well not really math issues, more interpretation of the results issues. Without boring you with all the technical details, the math I had to do brought me to decreasing every 3.75 rows. Cool! So I start decreasing every 3 rows, knowing that's going to take me right down to the cuff with the correct number of stitches (do you see the disaster this is heading for?). Hold it! I'm 6 inches too short and it's too tight. How did that happen? To the frog pond to tear out sleeve one. Next try. Oh I see I missed that whole .75 part of the number. I'll decrease every 4th row till about halfway then every 3rd row. I'm so smart I amaze myself sometimes. Dang! It's still too short, but only by 4 inches and it's also still too tight. To the frog pond again to tear out sleeve number two. I will not let these sleeves beat me! I decided to decrease every 4th row all the way down and wouldn't you know it it came out fine on the third try. Repeat for the other sleeve, knit the cuffs and voila! 4 sleeves!

I've decided that hand knit socks are cool and are my newest obsession. I'm not sure if I'm going to buy too many more socks at Target, or wherever else I go. I came to this conclusion after wearing these for a day

They are from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road. I think they are the Conwy socks. The yarn is Lang Jawoll. I love these socks and now want to knit socks in all colors for my very own feet. (Hmmm, I didn't realize the sun washed out the color so much. They really are a much deeper burgundy than this.) I've even gone so far as to join yet another knit-a-long group. Six-Sox- Knitalong (I've decided that my whole thing with Knitalong's is I enjoy knowing there are other people knitting the same thing I am and I can talk about it with them, or get help when I need bailing out!)
While I'm on the subject of socks, check these out

Technically they aren't socks, they're slippers. From Knit One, Felt Too. I think they are called Slide on Slippers and they are knit in Rio de la Plata yarn. I made these around Christmas time and wear them constantly. They are the comfiest, warmest things I've ever made. Not too great on wood laminate floors but I've adapted.

All other projects I have been working on and mentioned here in this blog have found there way to the UFO place in my craft room. I'll run across them again and finish them eventually, just not soon.

And now for a bit of an Awwww.

She really is this cute (I may be biased) and at only 10 months old knows how to use that cuteness. This is my daughter Sidney modeling her double breasted 'jacket' I recently finished for her. The pattern is from a Debbie Bliss book (I can't for the life of me remember which one) and is knit from Debbie Bliss wool/cotton.

And since he's always demanding equal time, I'll close with a picture that has absolutely nothing to do with knitting

My son Logan with his clinician at what we call his Saturday school at the University of Maryland. It's a great program for special needs kids. They work one on one with a volunteer or college student to help there development. It's basically two hours of structured play time and Logan loves it! The first picture is his sweet expression, the second is his more normal one when he's about to be a little terror and trying to be cute about it.

Someday I'm sure I'll get a picture up here of the man that puts the Navy part in Navy wife. I just can't convince him that he SHOULD wear something I knit him. It's not that he doesn't like my knitting, the only thing he'll wear that is knitted is socks and a picture of his feet just isn't what I had in mind. Although one of the best laughs I've had in a long time came from him yesterday. I was reading blogs and looking at someone's pics of their yarn and he came in and said, "oh gawd! not more yarn!" I kid you not. Does this mean I knit too much?