Friday, September 28, 2012

Moving Along

Just a little more Knitalong action here.   I've finished the back of the Holla Back Tank, seamed the shoulders with three needle bind off, and am about to block it so I can seam the sides correctly.

You can't really tell because of the way the front is curling up, but the back appears a bit short, but it's lace that will stretch when I have blocked it.  I'm still a little unsure that the whole thing will lengthen enough once blocked for my body, but there's still the edges and bottom band to knit.  I can always add to the bottom if I have to tomorrow, when I have a good idea of how this will look blocked and dry (This fingering weight yarn dries super fast.)

More on my Ravelry and Flickr

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Little Motivational Speech for Me

... because I'm a homemaker and much of what I make each day gets "unmade" by evening.  I have to remember that "being there" for your family is often immeasurable and intangible.   It's hard to write about because it's either so boring it will put you in a trance or it gets too personal.  So instead I'll write about stuff I'm making, tangible, provable accomplishments, and I don't care if it puts the internet into a stupor.

When I'm not "being there" I am a closet knitter, the whole house being my closet.   It is both therapy and reward.  If things are especially great, I'm celebrating here and there, with some knitting.  If things are terrible, I'm working out my issues, face contorted, over a sweater.

There won't be proof of my being a really, good mother until many years from now when my kids don't need antipsychotics.  But, wether or not I can seam a sleeve, well the proof is right here, in the bag.

Besides the knitalong tank I have managed to photograph regularly, I have worked on Finishing School, above and below.  It has been waiting for that last skein to arrive for weeks and, once I join the yarn, it will be a snap to finish.  I think.
Can you see how cool the construction of the sailor- like collar is?  Ah, I love it.

Next up is Roxborough Dolman by Courtney Kelley.  Won't this go great with khaki?  I had knit this much a week ago, but ripped it out to start over in a needle three sizes smaller, my trusty addi size 2.  Now, it is a much prettier fabric, even if I am developing "knitter's claw."  It's also on gauge, which is important unless I was planning to make my husband wear it.

It is quite possible that in a couple of weeks I'll have three summer-ish knits off the needles and blocking, unless I get distracted.

Distraction number one:

I received my Gynx faded jeans yarn in the mail and find myself thinking about knitting this a lot as I work on something else.  I can't help it, it's fall (At least it is fall on tv.  Here it is 70 degrees.) and I  have sweater fever.

Sweater fever is what you get when you've finally given up on baby fever.  Lots of women in their late thirties, with adamant husbands, experience this phenomenon.  Symptoms include memory cards full of yarn photos, like these, instead of family milestones.  Sigh.

Actually, I have been quiet photo-wise.  Maybe I've overdosed on internet imagery.  Or maybe I've just been too busy knitting with the contorted face.  Either way, I did snap these for my project page.  I don't over-edit anymore and I don't set the stage, hence the vaporub.  I just grab my fiddy and keep it real.   I really did just write that.

(Why, yes, the Vicks does bring out the baltic in the collar edging.)

Friday, September 21, 2012


It could be the sound of an evil, mastermind, rubbing his hands together in anticipation of a patiently prepared plan being, finally, executed.

Or it could be the sound of another order being placed with Knit Picks.  Nothing genius or sinister... unless it is.

When I went to order my winter yarn I had the intention of getting lots of brights colors.  But I thought about the bright yarn I still have to work up, and about the insane yellow and aqua pairs of pants I got to wear with my sweaters, and decided subdued would be best.  So I'm going with some creamy and charcoal  tweeds, tonal blues, gray, and maybe... just maybe... I'll win some cherry bomb yarn from one of the giveaways for the knitted shorts.  If not, I'm buying it.

So, when I looked at my Ravelry queue, I realized that when this order comes in I'll have the yarn for the first eighteen projects.   I feel guilty as I type that.  I'm not buying it all at once or anything.  I already had most of it, but still... first world guilt.  Only knitters would understand that guilt.  Regular people would just feel sad for me that I feel guilty for buying a bag of yarn.  In my defense, I have been mowing through my stash and have yet to hurt anyone with my habit.

(my Flickr and Ravelry)

Which brings me to these photos of the tank knit along.  I was behind last week, but now I see that I've accidentally moved ahead of the weekly assignment by completing the armhole shaping.  It's still looking mighty small, but when I stretch the lace out, it is the right dimensions.  Besides everyone else in the group has a tiny looking tank too at this stage.  In fact, these progress shots, forum support, and how to videos are probably why I've been knitting so many projects from Holla Knits, besides the cute factor.  So, I'm close to finishing this, this, and this then I'll have the needles free for this, this, and  this.  And this.  And this.  Do you hate me for my excessive linkage yet, my one reader?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Back to Normal

This week I got behind on... everything.  I could list all of the things vying for my time: the boring and the fantastic, but I can sum it up with new school year, a high school senior, junior high sports.  All of which takes on a very cultish feel in southeast Texas.  I swear if I hear the phrase," for the children" one more time my brain may leak out of my ears.  Not that I'm sour on doing things for my children.  I am a stay-at-home mom for a reason (and, no, it's not to make crafts all day.)

But I feel like the burden to participate in yet another new tradition of the school district, another meeting, buy another t-shirt, decorate another whatever is taking the place of doing things alongside my kids, of having time to actually talk to them, and eat a meal together.  Some of it can't be helped- we did sign up for those activities and they are a good thing.  But I really think there must be some people who just don't feel complete in life if their every single waking second isn't scheduled with some misguided attempt at service for the very children they may be ignoring in order to do it.   Or maybe we're just weird.  But my kids are like me to a great extent.  They like a little free time where no one thinks for them or directs their activity.  There, I said it.  I feel much better for it.

Here's my late progress for my Holla Back Tank knit along:

I am finally caught up.  I don't recommend knitting lace when you're sleepy.  This is really not that difficult a lace pattern and I like the chevron look a lot.  I kind of wanted mine to have a little ease and be drawn in a bit by the bottom band for a blouse effect (like the blue one on this page) but I think it will be more fitted which is still fine with me.

My last progress update is here.
More on my flickr and Ravelry.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Little Progress

I'm fighting the urge to re-knit this knit along tank a size larger.  I know stockinette curls under and that I'll be adding edging and a band to the bottom, but still... it just seems so... pre-teen sized.

I realize that I'm unused to knitting lightweight clothing; however, between this tank and Finishing School, also curling stockinette, I am feeling a little like a hulking, pro wrestler trying to knit up his singlet.  (That's one image you don't want to google.  Trust me.)

But I'm sticking with the pattern because my brain knows it makes sense.  I know that once those sides are seamed, it will smooth out and fit.  If not, there's always the aggressive blocking method a dry cleaner once used on a sweater of mine after he shrank it: I think he and his brother tugged on it like a wishbone.  Though that blocking experience ended with me receiving a reimbursement, I feel certain a more gentle blocking method will go a long way on this tank.

Remember how I said lots of us in this knit along find our animals sneaking into our photos?  I swear I didn't place my cat in this as a prop.  She jumped up there as I was taking pictures.  She really does hover.

 (my Ravelry and my Flickr)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Back- to - School Supplies

I only had two things on my personal list: mustard colored jeans and a real knitting bag.

I've been knitting since my son was something like a year and a half, and I've used everything from a backpack while camping, to a beach bag, to an empty Wal-Mart sack to hold my knitting junk.  So this year, as I bought my son a backpack that may last six months and a binder that probably won't last two,  I bought myself a Namaste bag for 40% off at KnitPicks.   It's my first "big kid" knitting bag.  

You know how hard it is to order just one thing, right?  Well, I didn't.  I also stocked up on sale buttons and got Shannon Okey's book on knitwear design, which is way out of my league right now, but makes a total of four design themed books on my book shelf.  I now feel obligated to design something to prove I'm not a careless spender.

As soon as my package arrived, I dumped two projects into the bag, which had plenty of room for more, and started working on one of them, occasionally petting the bag and whispering, "My Precious...."

So, yeah, I'm pretty much a geek.