Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Good delivery day

I love driving home from work this time of year. Houses are starting to get decorated for the holidays, candles are glowing from the windows, and there is just a hint of cold in the air - enough to make it feel like Christmas. The kids are usually in a good mood (or at least mine are, because they know Santa is watching), the house is warm and cozy, and you never know what packages may have been delivered.

Last night when I got home from work, this was waiting for me:

Amazon.co.jp -> the .jp stands for Japan. Oh yippee! Oh boy!

In this rather large box (given the contents), was a single copy of this book:

titled New Style of Heirloom Knitting.

Which contains the pattern, in Japanese, for this yummy sweater:

Words cannot express how excited I am!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Spinning, spinning, spinning

My head is spinning with all I need to do to prepare for the holidays. As DH has business trips coming up to both locations where we would typically ship packages, I have decided that he should take the presents with. Which means that I have got to get my act together QUICKLY! Now, where did I hide all that stuff we brought back from NZ/Oz?

Friday night, while those of you IN THE KNOW were watching HP, or having fun at the WW spin-in, my friend Sam came over to entertain me and the kids. I was able to finish spinning 2oz of a merino/angora/silk blend that I had purchased at OFFF. It spun like a dream, but 2 oz is not much, so I plyed it with some of the light brown NZ merino from my vacation, and this is the result:

I kept telling my self to slow down as I was plying, so as not to create the overstressed mess of kinky-doubled-back-on-itself-blob I have done in the past. This stuff came out perfect, not even a half twist in the hanging hank. I am thrilled! This one may become a hat for DD.

Friday, November 18, 2005

How has knitting changed YOUR life?

Cyn posed the question, "How has knitting changed your life?"

Knitting has been my cornerstone, my constant, my security blanket, during every move the adventure that is life has taken me on. It has taught me to believe in myself, that it's ok to do things different, and it has also given me a way to make new friends.

I learned to knit while an exchange student in Berlin, 19 years ago. My penpal from Southern Germany taught me to knit while on a mini-vacation, then put me back on the train to Berlin. I didn't have a knitting resource in Berlin (I am sure they were there, I just didn't seek them out.) I had to figure out dropped stitches, binding off, and sewing together, all by myself. Knitting taught me to trust myself, that with enough patience and perseverence, I could figure it out.

I didn't knit much when I returned to the US and the safety net of the familiar. I recall taking a class on how to use dpn and knit fair isle. I vaguely remember a humongous blue sweater (this was my lesson on gauge - we all have one, don't we?) And of course the precious baby sweater for my new niece.

Then there was the move to MN. Resuming knitting seemed the natural thing to do. I had no friends, lots of stress with a new job, and besides, warm woolens were needed. I was taking a Swedish class at the ASI, when I met a woman who was knitting socks. She opened up the world to me. She taught me how to turn a heel (lifetime socknitter here). She introduced me to the knitlist, the MN Knitters Guild, knitting retreats in Ely, and the importance of a stash. Need I say more?

Next move - MA. Here we go again: new house, new job, no friends, and a child *sigh*. Thanks to the internet, I found a few local knitters and learned about some wool and sheep events. Mostly, I added to my stash at some of the local shops. This made the time bearable.

Not much later, next move - WA. Here we go again, new house, NO job, no friends, two kids, *double sigh*. Again, with the luck of the internet, I came across Sheila's NWKniterati blog, went to my first soiree, and met many, many, many, friendly and talented knitters. What's more - they spin. Now I've never been interested in spinning, but when we hit the 4 year mark in WA, I decided I better take advantage of the resources before DH gets the itchy feet again! I am so glad I have, as I have yet another enduring hobby that helps me branch out and open up, both socially and creatively.

And that is how knitting has changed my life.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

New Style of Heirloom Knitting

I came across January One's blog today with a photo of this:

Isn't that gorgeous? It's from the book, New Style of Heirloom Knitting, and it's in Japanese. Do I dare order it on-line? Evidently, some people are locating copies at local specialty shops. If you know of someplace in the US or Canada that has this, leave me a comment.

Still working on the garter stitch fox scarf. It's not even worth photographing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Who is this person?

Your Birthdate: December 3

You are more than a big ball of energy - you are a big ball of hyper.
You are always on the go, but you don't have a type a personality.
Instead of channeling your energy into work, you instead go for fun and adventure.
Witty and verbal, you can have an interesting conversation with anyone.

Your strength: Your larger than life imagination

Your weakness: You tend to be pretty scattered

Your power color: Lime

Your power symbol: Lightening bolt

Your power month: March

If my husband reads this, he will either be:

a) ROFLOL or
b) wondering who this woman is and why he didn't marry HER.

This is SO not me!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Help - there's a snake in the house!

The snake scarf is done. It was (and, most amazingly, continues to be) a hit!

From endless stockinette, to endless garter stitch...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Every Now and Then, Your Kids Will Surpise You

My son has been bugging me to teach him to knit. You would think I would be jumping for joy, but really, we've been down this path twice before. So me, of little patience, finally gave in. Here he's working on Alex' snake scarf (don't tell Alex):

I think he actually gets it this time. He's easily distracted though, so I just sent him back in the living room to knit to the end of the row.

Teddy: "But Mom, how will I know when I am at the end of the row?"
Me: "When there are no more stitches on the left needle."
Teddy: (earnest look on his face)
Me: "There won't be any more fences to go under."
Teddy: "Ohhhh".

This moment of pure joy reminded me of another such moment that happened, just last month.

Maybe there is hope for world peace.

Halloween and More...

I am starting to recover from last weekend's crazy, crazy schedule. First, a few cute pictures from the holiday weekend:

The world's cutest pumpkin and its maker:

Nananana nanana - BATMAN:

The world's best husband - he offered to trade costumes with me when I told him that my mask made me claustrophobic:

And finally, to the fiber part. The Joseph's Coat Biffle from Lisa has been transformed!

I hope your Halloween was less freaky than mine!