Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Birthday List

Since Sunday is my birthday (ack! 29. Does anyone else feel like they should have accomplished more at their age than they have?) and my husband is a chronic procrastinator. I know he hasn't shopped for me at all yet. I would like to offer the following suggestions.
1. The obvious Knit Picks Gift Certificate. You know this because I left that "subtle hint" of a catalog page on your pillow.
2. Gift Certificates to other stores I frequent. Including, but not limited to: Bonnie's Spinning Wheel, Uniquely Knit, Barnes & Noble and Crafts Direct.
3. Yarn. Like really good Malabrigo or some nice sock yarn. Ask the ladies at the Yarn Stores, they will help you and yes, it really does cost that much.
4. Certificates for time to knit, this would be coupled with you doing things like washing dishes, making dinner or doing other chores around the house so I don't have to.
5. The Yarn Harlot Books. She has two new ones out: Things I learned from Knitting (Whether I Wanted To or Not) and Free Range Knitter. I have neither.
6. Movies. They are not at the top of my list but they are there. I like movies but I have gotten a lot of them from you in the last few years, stick to yarn.

In other news.
It's Tuesday and so it's for Crochet but I am currently knitting a sock and procrastinating doing anything else. Thanks.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Drinking Coffee and Denial about Nanowrimo

Last week I sort of disappeared and I didn't even get a chance to tell you about our Knit Night at Caribou coffee. It was fun and I came away with some gorgeous stuff but we'll talk about that another time.
The reason I disappeared (and believe me, I had a good one) was because I headed down to my mom's house. While there, her dog decided to wake me up at 3:00 am and 4:00 am so he could go out. One of the kittens also decided to pose for me:
This is Ewok and how can you resist that face?!

The real reason I went to my mom's was so I could go to a baby shower for these guys:

Twin boys born to a cousin. Yeah, they're pretty cute. They are doing great too. They are 5 weeks old here and the guy on the left is almost 8 pounds and the guy on the right is 6 and a half. I could've spent all day snuggling them but that's the thing about a baby shower, you have to share.

After another busy weekend, we headed home and now I'm getting ready for this week.

This week is Thanksgiving here in the U.S. and so, the week is a little crazy and it hasn't even really started yet. Basically, it looks like this:
Sunday: Get home from the weekend, try to write on NanoWriMo.
Monday: Crochet 101 class tonight, try to write.
Tuesday: Open Crochet night tonight, try to write.
Wednesday: Try to write and finish up (notice I'm at like 25,000 words, yeah, I have a long way to go.) Hubby gets done with work at 1pm and we are going down to my parent's house to spend the night so everything at home has to get done before we leave.
Thursday: Thanksgiving Day, have a meal with my family and spend the day playing with my niece.
Friday: I'm not sure yet but it won't involve being at home.
Saturday: Gaming Convention in New London known as Carnage Con, spend the night at in-laws following this.
Sunday: My birthday and also the day we will be celebrating Thanksgiving with my in-laws. While this will be fun, I estimate that I will be about 12x more exhausted than I would like to be by then.

Somewhere in there I have to: Bake an apple pie to take along to in-laws, renew my license and tabs for my car because they expire on my birthday (Sunday) and finish my NaNo novel.
Yeah, I may be insane by Sunday night when I finally get home.

In actual knitting news:

The Sock-Ease Socks are done.
The specs:
The Pattern: Just the Basic Sock Recipe again, I like it because I can knit without looking so it's excellent for the dark or for TV watching.
The Yarn: Lion Brand Sock-Ease in color 201, Rock Candy. This was my first time knitting with this yarn. It was inexpensive and they turned out quite nice. Not my favorite yarn but I would probably knit with it again.
The Needles: Bamboo, US size 2
The Size: Knit to Men's size 13.
The Recipient: My Step-brother Chris.
Notes: Since i hadn't knit with this before and I knew I would be knitting quite long socks I made the legs very short (only about 4" including ribbing) so I wouldn't run out of yarn. I had this much leftover.

Please excuse the crappy pictures, not only is it very grey and cloudy here today but I've drunk so much coffee while stressing out about my busy week that I'm a little shaky. The pictures from last week are more accurate color-wise.

I also started the first pair of DK weight Boot Socks.

They are knit on 4s and since I have never knit DK weight socks before, I guessed at the number to cast on but it looks pretty good.
So, where does all that leave me with my Christmas knitting? Well, it's 4 weeks to Christmas and I have approximately 8 pairs of socks left to knit, not to mention my other projects too. Yeah, I may not make it.

I may or may not have time to blog again this week, we'll see, if not, I'll see you all next week.

P.S. Does anyone know anything about Thrummed Mittens? I have a plan to knit some for myself once Christmas is done.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Haul

I didn't even mention it but yesterday was Tuesday making it for Crochet. I'm not working on anything new though. I took my afghan and got another strip of it done. It's coming along (6 are finished and the pattern calls for 12 so I'm halfway) but it looks exactly the same so I won't bore you with pictures.
Yesterday I mentioned that I made a stopover at the Yarn store on my way into Willmar. I mostly got things for Christmas Knitting although there were a very few things to help me keep my sanity as I dredge through it. (I find it hard to think giving thoughts as you frantically try to figure out if you can somehow manage to fit all your normal life stuff in as well as finish your Christmas projects.) I may have somehow also accidentally picked up a couple of things last night at Crafts Direct too while I was there. This is pretty much what I got:

As you can see, there's quite a bit. I got the Interweave Knits Holiday gifts issue. and a whole bunch of sock yarn plus a couple of skeins of Patons Classic wool. This isn't even close to everything that I am knitting for Christmas but the green on the left isn't for Christmas. That's just for me. (ha ha! Selfish!) I picked up another set of Bamboo dpns in size 2 because mine seem to have a death wish lately and keep breaking at unfortunate moments.
Here's a question: Do you think that it helps to cast everything on? Then you can work on this or that or back and forth or do you think it's better to stick to just a few projects, that having too many on the needles when you're at a deadline is crazy-making? I might take advice although I'll probably still be crazy by Christmas Eve.
I got one pattern that I intend to get the yarn for later. I think it will be my reward project for when I'm done with all the Christmas stuff. Check it out here. (Scroll down, it's the Knit/Purl Bag) I'm not sure if I'll do it with the dowels, we'll see. So excited!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pins and Needles

You've all probably been on pins and needles, waiting to find out if I made my ridiculous, self-imposed word count goal. Well, I did it! I was up until 2:30 in the morning and it was probably all just a conglomeration of words that didn't make a teeny tiny bit of sense towards the end there but I did get it done. It felt good too. To be about where I should be word count wise and not behind. So what did I do after that? I took Friday off. Hubby was going to go visit friends for the weekend and I thought I was going to stay home so I thought that I could take Friday off to rest my brain and then hit the computer all day Saturday and Sunday so I would more than make up for Friday. Yeah, that didn't happen. I ended up going with hubby and we had a pretty fun weekend although I didn't get ahead on word count. I did finish these:
The Specs:
The Pattern: Just the Basic Sock Recipe from this book.
The needles: US Size 2 Bamboo
The Yarn: Austermann Step Sock Yarn in Color: 4?
Intended for: My Father-In-Law for Christmas
Notes: This yarn contains Jojoba oil and aloe and is said to condition feet while they are worn. I didn't notice a ton of difference on my hands while knitting it but I changed out with several projects throughout.

Since I finished those I started a new project too.

They are Monkeys knit out of stashed Sockotta yarn and are to be for my Sis-in-law for Christmas. I feel like everyone but me has knit this amazingly cute pattern from Cookie A. I actually started a pair for myself a long while ago but I frogged them because I wasn't happy with the way they were coming out.

I made a trip to the Yarn Store on our way to Willmar on Saturday too but we'll talk about that another day. What? It was for Christmas Knitting Yarn, no, really. That's all I got...pretty much.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lofty Goals

Last night I stayed up late to finish my NaNoWriMo word goal for the day. Then I went to log onto the website and update it. That was when I noticed the little note posted there by Chris Baty, the head of the NaNo team. He had challenged everyone to get their word count to 15,000 words by Monday at bedtime. He was thinking that it was a good motivation and so he was urging people to set another goal for themselves, 20,000 words by bedtime tonight, Thursday. Last night I ended at 10,555 words but I want nothing more than to be caught up with everyone else. Then I won’t feel like I’m so far behind so today I’m setting a lofty goal. Tonight by bedtime I want to have my 20,000 words. That’s about 10,000 words in one day. That means there will be basically no knitting, no crafting and no anything else today. I just have to sit and write. So of course, after an hour what am I doing? Writing a blog entry instead of writing my novel. Of course. Hubby is off work today but there are enough leftovers in the house that I think I can safely declare it: Find your own food Thursday. Which is an idea inspired by the Yarn Harlot’s Find your own food Fridays.
Having decided that eating only chocolate all day as I guzzle coffee trying to find the next few sentences buried in my brain is probably not healthy, I’m going to go eat a banana and get back to the novel. Wish me luck.
P.S. Please don’t bring this up tomorrow when I’m at 15,000 words or something like that. Thanks.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I've been wracking my brain since I got up this morning to see if there is anything I can take a picture of to show you. Everything looks exactly the same.
I went to crochet night last night and I worked on Mom K's throw. The new strip looks exactly like the other strip. I knit on Dad K's Austermann Step Socks, the second sock looks exactly like the first sock. I'm not even at the ever so exciting heel flap or heel turn. I'm just knitting around and around on the leg so there's nothing there. I have no cute kittens at my apartment who have done adorable things and my husband lying around in his underwear is not fit for internet pictures. I've got nothing.
I've been working hard on my NaNo novel to try to get back to a respectable place in my word count. It's slowly growing. I found hubby's old laptop that doesn't work real well but does at least allow me to snuggle under the blankets in bed and write there. At least I'm more comfortable, even though the ancient battery requires that you keep it constantly plugged in. Speaking of novel writing though, that brings me to the title of this post. What is it about writing that doesn't look like anything? I can write like crazy when hubby is not home but if he's in the house, there are 25 million distractions. He has the TV on, he won't stop talking to me or asking me what's for dinner or singing along to the musical he's watching (this is an actual occurrance. He was watching some show about the Army Musical groups in WWII and singing along because he remembers watching it when he was a kid.) Then this morning as I was settling in to try to get started writing, he asks me if I want breakfast, then comes back to ask if I would please fill his water bottle as he's running behind schedule. Seriously, dude, I'm working! What is it about staring diligently at the computer and typing frantically before the ideas fall out of your head that doesn't look like work? Does anyone know?

He's off work tomorrow. Pray for me. I'll be the one in the closet with the laptop trying to get some peace and crying because I still haven't broken 10,000 words.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Still Behind

So, I'm a NaNoWriMo participant this year. I did it in 2006 but didn't end up finishing and this year I thought it would be fun to give it another go. Yeah, fun.
Due to my going out of town last week, I didn't get Nearly enough done in the way of writing, putting me quite far behind this week. I'm working to get caught up but I really don't know where I thought all the rest of the things I had to do would go.
I still have to make dinners and clean up the kitchen and the house and all the other things that happen around here. Plus, it's nearly impossible to write when my husband is home. He's always interrupting me and making noise and driving me crazy. I'm lucky if I can get half as much done in the same amount of time.
Tuesdays are meant to be for crochet and I'm thinking about crochet but I haven't touched it yet today because I've been busy. Our maintenance guy is coming to cover the air conditioner for the season tomorrow and I don't want it to look like a pigsty so I'm unpacking and organizing as fast as I can, while thinking about crocheting and thinking about writing.
Yesterday my story did grow in leaps and bounds. In the morning I had a mere 500 and something words and I'm over 5000 now so I can make progress but it's not an easy task and over half of what I wrote yesterday is probably complete crap. I'll deal with that in editing. The point right now is just to get it all on paper.
What about the Christmas project update you ask?
What? Are you kidding me?? I'm cleaning. Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Getting Re-Caught up

Last week, I kinda disappeared. Sorry there was no warning. It was just time for a break. Both hubby and I had been sick and we were at each other's throats. I decided we needed some time to just relax and have some quiet time and I needed to have some "kitten therapy" so I went down to my mom's house. They live out in the country so there's basically no TV (they get like 4 channels) and so it's mostly quiet and I get to play with the pets and (sometimes) get a lot of knitting done.
Friday morning it looked like this outside:

Yeah, um, Surprise!

It was pretty but it sure looked like almost Christmas not almost Thanksgiving. The kittens got to go outside and see snow for the first time EVER. It was pretty cute and pretty soon their feet were cold so they came in and did this:

That's all five of the kittens curled up together in the bed on top of the dog's kennel. The two adult cats Willow and Fluffy of course wanted nothing to do with these guys so they all snuggled together to stay warm.
Yes, Freckles is bigger. He's from an earlier litter. His mother abandoned him and we found him under the wood pile.
I came home on Friday and have spent the rest of the time trying to get things back into some semblance of order. I try to (mostly) be neat but we are still unpacking so everything is still a mess. I'm working on that today but I had a big "bachelor" mess to clean up when I got home. That's what I call it when I leave and hubby goes all bachelor for a few days. He kinda reverts back to old bad habits.
Yesterday, things were finally back to the somewhat skewed version of normal we have around here and I decided that the nice crisp day (despite the fact that all the snow has melted) called for some homemade soup. Have I mentioned here before that I like to cook? yeah, this was dinner last night:

Homemade vegetable soup with alphabet pasta and homemade whole wheat bread. Yum! Actually, that's what I'll probably have for lunch today too. Only I'll toast the bread since it's no longer warm from the oven.
Since yesterday was Sunday and we usually relax on Sundays I decided I'd better get hot on the Christmas knitting so I started another pair of socks.

This yarn is the new Lion Brand Sock-Ease in the color Rock Candy. It's pretty much gray with some lime green and a hint of mauve. These are going to be socks for my step-brother Chris. (I have to specify which Chris because my other brother is also named Chris. Yeah, holidays are somewhat weird with my family. I know they don't apply to the rules of colors men will wear on their feet but I think they will work anyway. My step-brother is not what you would call a "typical" guy. He's a little odd. As you can see from this picture

I'm already past the heel turn. How did you get so far, you ask? (Let's pretend you did.)
Well, for one thing, he has size 13 feet so I didn't make the leg very long so I'd have enough yarn to finish the feet but also, this contraption helped.

Pictured here with the knitting for people who don't care.
What is it? You ask (again, let's pretend you did.)

Here is it being used. It props open my book so I can read and knit at the same time. In this way, I managed to get pretty far into my book, have some quiet time and get a whole bunch of knitting done. At this rate, I should easily be done in time for Christmas. (Please don't remind me of that statement on December 23rd when I'm crying into my coffee cup.)
I think that's enough for today. Tomorrow, we'll probably have an update on said Christmas knitting.
One more thing though.
Some Congratulations are in order to this guy:

My brother Chris pictured here with Trouble on my parents' couch. (Not the one these socks are for though so no worries. His Christmas Gifts are on super, double secret alert.) Anyway, congratulations are due because he's engaged. (Not to the cat though so don't worry about that.)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day

Today is November 4 and it's Election day for those of us here in the United States. It's a pretty important one too. We are electing our president so please go out and vote. I've already been. As evidenced by my I voted sticker. Shown here:

It's pictured with my finished Regia socks.
The specs:
The Pattern:
My usual made up 3x1 rib pattern. Easy to knit since I know the pattern well. (I made it up.)
The Needles:
US Size 2. Knit mostly on Brittany Birch needles which aren't my favorite and then one Bamboo was added since one of my Brittanys broke.
The Yarn:
Regia 4-Fach Haltbar in color: 5753. I used two skeins and have a small amount leftover.
The Size:
Knit to Men's size 10

The Recipient: My dad who will get these for Christmas.
My Notes: I like this yarn pretty well. It wasn't as great as I thought it would be but it might just be project ennui that has me saying that. I honestly love the socks and I think my dad will love them too so it's all good. I would definitely use this yarn again. :)

Whew, one more Christmas gift finished.

In other news: I had a horrible weekend. For the most part it was fun. We went down to our friends' house on Friday night for our Halloween Celebration. It was pretty fun and I scored a cute pic of our friends all dressed up but I don't have their permission so I prolly shouldn't post it. Then, the unfun part started. Hubby got sick. As in: Up ALL night sick. Throwing up. We still stayed at his parents' that night and then pretty much all of Sunday. We got home around 9 and I proceeded to be up all night sick. Yesterday hubby was still somewhat iffy and I was really sick so he stayed home and took care of me. I'm still somewhat iffy but I'm eating saltines and drinking water so I *should* be able to make it to crochet night tonight. Here's hoping!
That's why, even though I signed up and I'm all gung ho, my NaNoWriMo Word count is 0. I'm Kalkette there as well so feel free to friend me there if you wish. Now I'm off to try to get some writing done.