Twisted Stitcher

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I wanted a gold medal, but...

I don't get a gold medal, but I have learned the following important things:

1) Dale of Norway patterns rock and now I'm addicted to them and actually believe I can finish one in my size. They have a new Colorado Springs pattern just out, so making one seems required since I live there.
2) I have just enough common sense not to do steeks at 3 in the morning even if it means not getting a gold medal.
3) My family and friends love me even when I do what appears to be strange things.
4) I can now weave in ends like a champ.
5) Knittting Olympics inspire plenty of people, it's a great conversation opener, and now my sister Karen is knitting a sock. She called me a couple days ago wanting to know what SSK in her pattern meant. How cool is that? She hasn't called back yet. I expect her to when she reads about Kitchner stitch.
6) Spending time with my family, like going to my daughter's rugby match, is more important than gold to me.
7) It's a great feeling to push past what I think my limits are, and if I can do that with my knitting, why not apply it to the rest of my life?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Party Off

I can't seem to get the Closing Ceremony Party together, so I have to cancel =- (

I will be stitching furiously to make the deadline. I am feeling like the marathon runner who finishes last, after everybody leaves the stadium. I really hope everyone else is on track and heading for the final stretch.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Party On!

There will be a party, location is still up in the air. We have a volunteer willing to have it at her house near Castle Rock. How many are coming needs to be learned so we can finalize this. Please either e-mail or leave a comment. Can't wait to meet y'all!

Progress report... body done, weaving ends in now, blocking soon. Then a mad rush to knit the sleeves and steek. Then a madder rush to do the neckband, and hemming, and buttons, and pom pom. I really hope the rest of you are in better shape than this!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


I've been temporarily sidelined. I am at the neckline shaping, and I am sort of confused by the directions. And I need to get my taxes done. So the two things have come together and forced me off the project for now. I really hope to get it all done tonight. Yeah, right.

I also have my son coming home from college for a little over a week, and my daughter and her friend coming home for the weekend. Do you think I have my house ready for that? If you said no, you would be right. I did do some grocery shopping, so nobody will strave.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

One Week Left

Only one week left until the end of the Knitting Olympics. I am working on finding a good place for The Colorado Closing Ceremony Celebration. I will keep you posted.

Here is a picture of my event as it looked last night at 1 am when I gave up and went to bed. Note the Dove dark chocolate hearts. They have been an essential part of the process. There has been some wine involved, but not too much yet.

Here is a picture of the body of the sweater. I have two of three bands of bugs done, so I'm thinking this can be done. It is definitely an endurance event, not a sprint. After the body, two small sleeves with only one band of bugs each. I have not blocked the swatch, so I am still thinking that blocking will rid it of any unevenness. No sweat.

I think sweat happens when I try the steeks.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Back Home Again

OK, back to reality, or as close to it as my life gets...

I had a wonderful vacation. I got to spend a lot of time with my Mom, who is in a nursing home. She is so cute.
I noticed her hands get cold easily, so I made her a muff from some incredibly soft and yummy bulky alpaca that I picked up at great store in Chicago. She had previously made me an afghan that color with cables on it, so I thought I'd do what I could to keep her warm, too.

I spent the first 4 nights at my sister Margie's. She lives on the north side of Chicago, in the Rogers Park neighborhood. She has a cat named Murphy, who approved of the alpaca. Maybe because he's the same color as the yarn.
I got to eat real pizza again, more than once. It was very, very good. Some of the leftovers went as carry-on home with me in the "overhead bins". We also had a delicious dinner at the Morseland Cafe a couple of blocks from her house. The food was fabulous, the mojitos were very tasty, the atmosphere was cool, and the people were the best. We were going to go to shop for yarn together on Friday before I left, but stuff got in the way of that. I hope she goes without me and takes up knitting again. I need more people to be obsessed with fiber.

I had time to visit 2 yarn stores. I took the L (that's the elevated train, for those unfamiliar with what I mean). If you have seen the movie "While You Were Sleeping", it's that kind of train. I went to
Arcadia Knitting on Lawrence Ave. They arrange the yarn by color, very neat. That's where I found some fingering weight Lorna's Laces for a shawl. I also picked up another Dale pattern, what am I thinking? That someday I will really have time to make a whole sweater in my size? I guess I am hoping I will maybe finish a pair of mittens, or a headband. I'd insert a picture here - - but I can't yet. More about that later. Then I hoped back on the L and went downtown to Loopy. I found a lot of nice things there, including the alpaca. Both stores were great, and the people very nice. It got colder and windier and believe it or not, I had no scarf with me. I own a bunch, they just could not be summoned by me at will. So, in a clever moment, I found a skein of yarn that would make a great scarf and wrapped it around my neck twice and wore it back to my sisters house. So I know that when I eventually get around to making it, I can expect warm and comfy.

I spent the second half of my trip at my other sisters house in southern Wisconsin. I went from the city to the country. In between visits with Mom, I also got to go to a yarn store with my sister Karen. It's near Delavan. It's called
Needles and Pins Yarn Shoppe. It was great, nice selection and nice people. My sister went in with me. She found a really pretty scarf pattern and yarn but decided not to make it because she doesn't wear scarves. I did kind of push her over the edge when I reminded her that she does wear socks. Then I pointed out the huge selection of Trekking XL sock yarn, and the purple kind of sealed the deal. She's never knit with double points, so I had to teach her real quick. She picked it up very fast. She didn't seem to be having any problems and knows to go back to the shop if she has any questions. Keep your fingers crossed that she has good first sock karma, or I am so screwed when she sees me next.

I did finish my daughter's red scarf, and made lots of progress on the project I can't talk about yet. The swatch is finished except for the blocking and the pom-pom, see?

It has a needle in it because the flipped up brim tends to roll. I'm really hoping blocking will help. I did not knit on the Olympic project at all. I was so unsure that my brand new teeny-weeny expensive metal Addi's would go thru screening at Midway that I chickened out on attempting that. So, into the suitcase they went, and the other project was carried on. I finally cast on the project at 5:20 pm TODAY. Two days after the official start! Yikes. That's all, just YIKES. I do have seven rows done, out of like 125 for the body of the sweater. Not time to panic just yet.

Normally I'd share pictures of the newest additions to the stash, but I don't have any of it here. It's still in Wisconsin, waiting for transport back to me. There was an issue of stuff that wouldn't fit in the suitcase. That's mainly because I had some things of Mom's that can't exactly be shipped, like some furniture and a mantle clock. So the yarn got stuck into some drawers and my son will drive it back on his spring break. He doesn't know that yet. I think I can live without it for that long. Unless my sister takes up knitting big time and decides that it should stay with her...

Friday, February 03, 2006

Well, here I am in Chicago! I got here yesterday. The flight was great and the screeners at the airport were wonderful. They didn't even blink at the needles. One of the ladies at DIA is a knitter, so we did spend a few minutes talking about my project. She is working on a sweater for her grandson, in case you want to know.

One of the people in line was carrying a pillow through and the screener told her that she'd have to be detained because the tag had been removed. Everyone in line thought that was pretty funny, except her. Some people don't have much of a sense of humor.

A big plus to knitting and headphones means you do not have to talk to the big scary guy taking up the seat next to you. Until they make you turn off "all portable electronics". Then you find out that his favorite pair of hiking socks was made by his sister for Christmas. Note to self: remember not to prejudge, even when you think you don't.

I had a great time driving from Midway to my sister's house. I love Lake Shore Drive. I stopped to take a picture of Soldier Field for my boys. I can't quite figure out how to get the pictures from the camera to the blog from this computer. My husband tried to explain it to me on the way to the airport, but I wasn't taking good notes, so when I get home there will be plenty to post. It took me a while to figure out how to get my sisters computer to do what I wanted. I had no idea they make left-handed mice.....

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Heading Out

Well, I'm heading out to Chicagoland tomorrow morning. I did decide to fly instead of drive. Even though I normally love road trips, it didn't make sense this time. This will save me 38 hours of knitting, oh I mean driving, time. I get to see my Mom and sisters, and maybe my son who goes to school in Illinois. I'll also get to see my in-laws, which in my case is a very good thing.

Packing my clothes for this trip, very easy. Packing my projects to knit, very NOT easy. I finally settled on these.

There is of course the Olympic project and training swatch, the brown will hopefully become a moebius basket, the lime green is a moebius with beads, and the red is a quick scarf. OK, so only I see them as done, but I figure you would understand...

One of the actual "traveling with me" projects is a scarf that's almost done. It's on kind of long Denise needles. The other project is a gift for someone who might be reading, so no pictures or descriptions of that! I tried to pick projects that will be interesting to knit and will also not raise any alarms with the security folks. I mean, you and I both know that the TSA says knitting needles are fine, but we also know that one unhappy screener can totally mess you up.

Wish me luck...