Friday, June 29, 2007

I just published a post that I thought was on this blog but found out I posted it onto the Art Yarn Sock Walk Blog by accident. I am laughing at myself because after three years of knitting I discovered I KNIT WRONG. That's right, I am knitting wrong. I am a self taught knitter using books and internet sources. Well, I was trying the monkey sock and one of the rows had the notation "ktbl". I thought, hmmm, I always knit through the back loop so what's up with that? Well, I looked it up and learned I should be knitting through the front loop. So, I started the sock again and it is taking longer because I have to pay more attention to what I am doing. Does anyone know if there is a real difference? My knitting looks like everyone else's. Since I taught two of my three daughters to knit, I had to tell them they are knitting wrong as well. They don't seem to care and will probably continue on as usual, tkbl all the way.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Two posts in two days. Woot! I must have a lot of extra time on my hands so I should probably pick up my needles and knit. However, I got my new sock yarn of the month from
castleman fibers and it is really beautiful. So beautiful that I wanted to share it. It is called Dinner and a Drink. The photo doesn't show the deep burgundy/brown of the color as it winds its way into the bright orange. I am so glad I told them to choose whatever colors they liked because they are forcing me to see beyond my safe blue and neutral shades to more exciting possibilities. And now that I signed up for the Art Walk Yarn Sock Club I am looking forward to more new colors and designs. I am envious of those who design. I love to knit (who doesn't) but I must follow a pattern and can not imagine making one up. Thank goodness there are those of you out there with vision!

Monday, June 25, 2007

These are finished waving laces socks on Emily's feet. It's hard to see the stitch pattern but you can get a sense of the openness and the color. She is very happy with them and so am I. For some reason I had a very difficult time with this pattern even though it is not really hard. I think part of it was that I am not used to charts. I only used 2 repeats of the pattern instead of the 31/2 called for. Emily does not like tall socks so I made it short. I would make the pattern again.
I am waiting patiently for the tour de france to start but I need a pair of socks to work on so it is back to the opal. I have the ribbing done on one sock and am starting the leg. It is mindless knitting and feels right just about now.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Well, I had planned to post a photo of the finished waving laces socks but Emily has them on her feet at work. She promised to roll up her pant legs all day and show them off but I am having trouble believing her (she works at an auto parts store and they aren't known for their sense of humor). I was so glad to finally finish them. The second sock went along so much easier than the first. It took only a few days (darn that work day that always gets in the way). Now I am excited about the tour de france kal. I cast on the socks to try out the yarn. It is worsted weight and I wasn't sure how it would work. I did the first little bit and it seems to be ok. Harder to work with though. Now I will put it away until the start of the tour. I can go back to working on my opal socks with the self patterning yarn. I ripped out the half I had done because I didn't like the way it was coming out and will start on slightly smaller needles.
The weather is about perfect this weekend so I am going to get the rest of the weekend chores done and sit outside with my socks and knit.
Happy Sunday!
PS I almost forgot--I won a drawing on Sheepish Annie's blog. I sponsored her efforts in a relay to raise money for cancer research and I won one of the prizes. It is a gift certificate to a very cool store. The prize is just gravy, the real thrill is helping someone raise money for research. There are cancers running through both my husband's and my family and every bit of money that helps find cures is appreciated. Thanks Anne!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

This is the project I have chosen for the Tour de France kal. It is a pair of hiking socks for my husband. Connection, you ask? Well, mountains are for hiking and the race winds through the mountains, n'est pas? Peter Kevin doesn't want the snowflake pattern on the socks (snowflakes are not for hiking socks) so I chose a brown and white mixed wool/acrylic yarn. I think it will probably stripe. It's a little thicker than what I am used to for socks and I hope that the thickness makes the pattern go quicker. I even got new metal knitpick dpns. Yay! No more broken needles in the middle of a project. This is my first kal and I am excited.
At work things are crazy. Our departments are changing and I am juggling almost 100 clients (with treatment plans due every 4 months and phone calls and forms to fill out and services to find and.....) you get the picture. We had 2 doctors leave and two are out on paternity leave so that leaves 2 to cover everyone. There are 2 new psychiatrists starting in the next couple of weeks. While that is good, it means that my 3rd clinic will once again be open for business. I love my job and don't mind being busy but some days it is difficult to sit down and just breathe because everyone needs something at the same time. But then someone says "thank you. I really needed you and you were there" and somehow it is all right. I don't know what I pictured myself doing as a child but being a social worker wasn't it. I am glad stumbled into it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Today, June 19, 2007, ends an era of my life. My youngest child graduated from high school tonight and my chest gets tight thinking about it. While I am glad I will never have to utter the words "I don't care if you think the assignment is stupid, just do it" again, I will miss the concerts, plays and general school events. It has been a long time coming and the pride I feel at the sight of my Katiebaby sitting on the field (under a very threatening sky) was overwhelming. I am so proud of the young women my girls have become. My family is my life and it is indeed wonderful. Now, she is off for an all night graduation party sponsored by the school at a local college rec center and though she will come home afterward, she is not the child she was. In her place is a young adult with wonderful values and skills to share with the world. Look out world, here comes Kate!

Kate, Emily and I are signing up for the Tour de France knit along. It sounds like fun. I think I will find a pattern for my yellow/orange sock yarn and challenge myself to finish during the tour. Kate is thinking about making a beret and we found an easy pattern for her to try. Em is thinking about a wip that she wants to challenge herself to finish. The cool part is while it is competitive, it is mostly competing with yourself. Let the bontemps roule!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I learned today that I can knit in the car, sometimes. I am a notoriously bad traveler. I get carsick reading maps. I am ok if I am the driver but I am an awful passenger. Today, Father's Day, we took Peter Kevin to Smithville Inn for brunch. It was a lovely day, hot and sunny with a nice breeze. Hot enough to make our ice cream melt all over but not so hot we couldn't walk around. Kate and Emily had fun riding the carousel. You can't see it but Kate is on an emu. It was a small carousel but very beautiful. During the ride down I worked on sock 2 of the waving laces pattern and didn't get sick once. Some kind of miracle was occuring. I usually can't knit too much on the train to work. Maybe the ride is too bumpy. I know I have a lot of trouble keeping the stitches on the needles while on the train. I do it anyway because people always ask what I am doing and I can spread the knitting gospel.
Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there (and mothers who fill in for absent fathers).
PS Thanks Bells for showing me how to set up the links!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Do you see this? Do you know what it is? It is sock no. 1 of the waving laces pattern. It took forever and I didn't make it as long in the leg as the pattern calls for because Emily doesn't like tall socks. Its sibling sock is in the starter stages. I cast on earlier and have finished the cuff and am ready to start the leg pattern. This was the first time I used the kitchener stitch toe and I really like the way it looks when it is done. I finished the sock at night and was trying to get the colors right because they are so pretty. I think these are pretty close but I had to put the sock on top of my clock radio right under the bed lamp to get enough light! From now on, photos get taken during the daylight hours. The important thing is that Em likes her sock.

Tomorrow we are going to the Smithville Inn for brunch for Dad's Day. Peter Kevin likes the place and it is his day. He and I went there last October for our 25th anniversary. It is a restored Inn and shops. You can buy local wines and foods and other crafty goodies. I am looking forward to it. Unfortunately, it is supposed to be in the 90's tomorrow. I'll take my camera and try to get some photos of the beautiful grounds.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Very interesting ideas out in cyberspace today. At Enchanting Juno ( was an invigorating post about women/men and the language we use when we talk about/to each other. I graduated from college with an english major (and we all know how useful that was in the workplace!), and I am still fascinated with language. I am a social worker, case manager, and I see everyday the importance of the words we use when we talk to someone or about someone. The push right now in the mental health field is toward the semantics of "recovery" and to stop using phrases such as "mentally ill". If I tell someone often enough that they are mentally ill, they will believe it and be ill. But, if I tell them they are on the way to recovery they can begin to see possibilities for themselves. I have seen words make a difference in people's lives. So, if young women call each other ho casually, is it that far a step before they see themselves that way?

Over at A Few Stitches Short ( Susan had an interesting post about editing blogs and the honesty of it all. Do people really want to read blogs and see warts and all or do they want to be entertained? And can't warts be entertaining? I know I edit my speech to spare people's feelings and I try to be aware of my audience but life is sometimes nasty and dirty and that's just reality. Do we want our blogs to reflect what life is or what we would like it to be? If we focus on the positive in life, will we eventually have a positive impact on the world? I like to think so (thus the title, what you think on grows!).

Enough profundity for the day. And now for a yarn shot. This is a picture of the grey yarn someone gave to me this week and two colorways from my sock yarn of the month club (castleman fibers on etsy). The orange one is so pretty and vibrant. I am not sure which sock pattern will speak to it but I will wait for inspiration. I also have to finish the waving laces socks. Yes, I am still working on them. I am on the toe of the first one and then I have to start number 2. Hopefully it will go quicker than sock one!
I know I take awful photos. I will have to practice more. I also can't figure out how to make the blogs I mentioned links so you can just click on them. My daughter tried to show me but it didn't work. I need to work on my technical skills!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Well, Pete and Katie took their 20 mile bike ride on Saturday. I forgot to take the camera when I went to pick them up (weather wasn't nice enough for a picnic) so here is a photo from a trek through the famed Pinelands of NJ. They are standing on Quaker Bridge and looking out at this. This is one of the most beautiful areas in the state (and country in my humble opinion). When my girls were small, we would celebrate Earth Day (april22) by picking up trash along one of our favorite trails. I used to tell them it was the price we paid for using a public park. They believed me and we would bring home 3 or 4 large bags of trash.

One of my clients gave me a gift today. She gave me 4 balls (100g each) of wool/alpaca blend yarn in a lovely light grey color. She just said "here, this is for you. I know you knit." I was floored and grateful for the gesture. She is an avid thrift store shopper and found a bargain and thought of me. I know that it probably isn't "therapeutic" but I accepted the gift in the spirit in which it was meant.

Oh, and I won a contest! I am so excited because I never win. Michele at knitsane is sending me some beautiful denim blue yarn. Maybe it will work well with my new grey yarn and become a Christmas gift for someone.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

No pictures today, just a quick post to say I did my part for World Wide Knit in Public Day. I took the purple sock with me to the mall where we were going to get haircuts . There was a wait so I whipped out my needles and several rows were added to the sock. Although there were folks all around, no one asked what I was doing (or making). I explained to the stylist that it was wwkip day and she laughed. She didn't get it. How sad for her.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The week has flown by and I have very little to show for it. No real progress on any wip and once again I ripped out the waving lace sock. After my daughter broke the bamboo needle, I started the socks on slightly larger metal needles and I think this is finally it. They look good and I don't think they will be so tight. The yarn is superwash wool but it feels like there is more than a little bit of cotton in it. There is very little stretch in it.
I am excited! I am an official member of nj knitters. Woot! Hopefully, I will be able to do some actual knitting this weekend and see some progress. Peter Kevin (my husband) and Kate are planning to ride their bicycles down to Batsto (the photo at the top is the Batsto mansion) and I will be in the clean up vehicle. I will drive down and meet them there with a picnic. The area is a state park. It is a partially restored mining village and it is really beautiful. It sits in the middle of the Pinelands. I think I will drive down and set up a chair and knit while I wait. I love to sit outside and knit. The natural light brings out the colors in the yarns and I like working with them more. Sometimes at night inside, the yarn looks dark.
I have decided that I am a process person and not necessarily a product person. The soothing process of feeling the needles in my hands and the yarn sliding through my fingers gives me more pleasure than seeing a finished item. Although, truth be told, finished objects are nice, too.

Monday, June 4, 2007

I have been working on my opal socks and I don't like how the patterning is coming out. I wonder if I am not getting the crisp patterns in photos because I am using a 2.75 needle instead of a 2.5. Even though I am halfway through one sock, I think I will take it out and try it on the 2.5's when they arrive. I ordered the metal ones and now I have to wait for them, too.

I got my sock yarn of the month club and although my husband calls it "hari krishna sock yarn" I think it is beautiful. It is called "fire" and is a gorgeous yellow/red/orange combination. My oldest daughter has already expressed an interest but I think I will save it for my niece. I think she would love the color.
The weather is too hot for anything but sock knitting. The thought of a sweater or blanket on my lap makes me sweat just thinking about it. I have a good amount of sock yarn and I think I'll be busy for a while.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Well, I had broken one of my 2.50 brittany needles but only needed 4 so I could keep going on the waving laces socks. Until, that is that I asked my daughter to slip them on and make sure they fit (not wanting a repeat of the last pair). They fit but she broke one of my needles and now I have to wait for the replacements to come. I am also going to get some knitpicks metal ones so we won't have this problem in the future. Fortunately, I started a pair of opal self patterning socks in a plain sock so that will keep me busy for the time being.

Yea! We finally got the pool opened and with the hot and humid weather we have been enjoying(?) lately, it is welcome and refreshing.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Well, we got Kate off to the prom and looking beautiful. No makeup as I expected but somehow the look suits her. She is funny and smart and lovely and totally unfussy about herself. I try to help her see how lovely she is but I am, after all, her mother and my opinion does not count. I am in awe of her talents as an artist. I can see things but they get lost between my brain and my hands but Kate makes the images in her head appear magically on the paper. I know she gets that talent from her dad.

Let me tell you a little about her dad, my husband of 25 years. I have never met anyone as totally interested in the world around him as my husband. His curiosity is boundless and he will search for answers to questions and follow trails of information into strange and wonderful places. He is handsome and strong and gentle and loving. He likes computers, he really likes them. He makes me feel beautiful and loved and wanted even after 25 years of ups and downs. He is funny and makes me laugh every day. I am so lucky. I am married to my best friend.

My oldest daughter, El is one of the smartest people I know. She is quiet and keeps to herself. El doesn't like crowds and prefers small groups. She can be wickedly funny and has a unique way of looking at the world. She is tall and blonde and doesn't seem to realize how pretty she is.

And then there is Em, the middle child who doesn't act like a middle child. She has more self confidence and hutzpah than any 12 other people. She is smart and funny and hardworking. She likes to laugh and will do so frequently. Em is also beautiful but will deny it if you tell her.

Do I sound like a broken record? I think I am the luckiest person to have the opportunity to live with such terrific people.

No knitting yet today. As it after 9 I better get to work on the infamous waving lace socks. I am plugging away on them and they are lovely.

Have a good weekend.

Happy Sunday!  I am sitting here working on my sweater made with the cashmere yarn my husband gave me for my birthday last year. I’m further...