Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Accomplishments at Knit Nite (not)

It was one of THOSE knit nites, when I scurried around at home looking for something I could knit that I wouldn't screw up... and I found nothing.  In the end I grabbed a couple of things, AND a new (not thought through) pattern, yarn and needles, intending to cast on.  I thought I might be able to cast on without making a mess...
Left to right: Shawl, shawl yarn, vest and yarn (in my favorite yarn bowl with lid.)

I abandoned the cast on idea as soon as I hit my chair, and worked on my vest (traveling stitches) until I got nervous about which direction I was going on the chart.  Then I picked up my shawl (lace) and tried that until I was certain I had dropped a stitch. (I borrowed two cable needles at a time, twice, because I messed it up the first time...what was I thinking? A "two cable needle" crossover while laughing?)  I immediately borrowed a tapestry needle, put in a "life line" and put it down.
Obviously I wasn't the only person accomplishing so little:
Pictures taken at the 2 hour point showed Koo with exactly this much of her cast on for 2-at-a-time socks.
 Dee had knit her loose end into the blanket instead of the new skein.
 MeeBee had ripped out this much.

Loo had something to show, but it didn't look any different than 2 hours ago...?

Success Stories!  Jee was cheating ...
 She had something straight to knit!  (Nice scarf she's wearing...!)
 And Kee managed to ASK FOR HELP and get an inch done.  Both are to be commended!
 Who had the most fun?
Gany was stepped over dozens of times, and LOVED IT!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

On the Edge

Life on the edge for a knitter:
Knitting with yarn that you suspect KNOW is going to run out before you complete a project.
Am I right?
Risky behavior... 
that I haven't been able to avoid.  
I think it has to do with my compulsion to use up stash yarn... gosh, there's a lot, I should be able to do a project or two or many without buying more...
#1:  Really!  This one was totally a surprise... I started socks a long time ago.  "Stricken" is the pattern, from Knit. Sock. Love.
So long ago, that I have to look it up to NOT exaggerate:  Oh, July 15, 2012, not so bad... and after Christmas when I started to wonder what's next, and why can't I just pick up something beautiful that's on needles?...  I did.
 Yummy Ultra Alpaca Fine by Berroco.  As I approached the heel, I began to feel the ball of yarn was a little "light", yet I was sure the skein had enough for a pair of socks... and then there was a little tugging at the back of my mind... like, had I ever used some of this yarn for "another" project?
This is where Ravelry is really important to us knitters of age and excess.  The answer was yes, I had used "a little" in my Turkish Socks.  But could that mean...?  At that point I hastily separated the yarn into what I thought might be halves, and this is where I ran out.  The toes may have to be "different", but I won't know for sure until I have the second sock knitted up.  That will probably be another 6 months...
#2  Yesterday I was reading another blog, and she got me excited about a "block color" project for Juju. (Currently NOTHING on my needles for can THAT be?)  I did some calculating, and in my mind I thought I had enough from a previous project... but I may be wrong... I won't be surprised. AGAIN!!!  ARGHH! (Fodder for another post.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Mitten Disaster Averted

I wish that was true, but since the first mittens WERE a disaster, I felt compelled to redeem myself.
"What are your favorite colors, Juju?"
"Purple"  "Pink"  "Purple, pink"
"How about these?  Do you like these colors?"
"Yes, sure."
(She says "sure" a lot, in place of yes... and we found ourselves using "sure" ALL the time.  Let that be a lesson!)
So I found this cute animal... Totoro... that none of us are familiar with, but it makes a cute animal... and then I added a certain name on the cuff, instead of repeating Totoro (which is on the back side).  And a cruise later...
The hot pink makes the purple turn blue, but really, they are 3-year-old pleasers!  Off to Norway!  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


A suggestion:  Keep up with Panopticon (See to the left in "Blogs I Read")

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The More you Cruise...

Yes, the more you cruise, the more you... Cruise!

Real writing time:  off the coast of Belize with a damp iPad. My thumbs can feel the moisture on the screen. No need to go ashore yet, since there isn't much in Belize City that is enticing. Authorities have announced that it is best to avoid South Belize City for "your safety". Now, doesn't THAT just make you want to go ashore?  In a few hours we will make our way ashore by tender to meet a tour group for reef snorkeling and beach. 

We are traveling with daughter, her husband and three year old and taking turns with a nasty chest cold. (Juju and I have not had it, yet. We are waiting until our return flights!)
You may have heard the saga of airline travel of grandparents with three year old. I guess it just makes me appreciate when things go right.  You can see the fifteen point disaster bulletin of travel between Farmington and New Orleans (See Jan 19 blog post/yesterday). 
Knitting? Of course. I brought three projects hoping I would finish two of them. 
Number one:  Totoro mittens in leftover (favorite colors) yarn from juju's Norwegian grandmother. It would be nice if they went home with her since they are useful, but plenty big for another year. 
Number two:  Black stripe socks for C.  It would be nice to put them in the same bag, just because I like to make socks for my girls. 
Number three:  Cotton Charybdis Shawl.  No plans, but a fun project because of the progressive shading.  If it was finished now, I would be wearing it to the dining rooms on the ship. Quite chilly! 
Ahhh, food.  You have to mention food with cruising. I believe that lots of things could go wrong, but if the food is excellent, it doesn't matter. (OK, I exaggerate.)  We just had a leisurely breakfast on the upper deck.  And the crew is doing its best to fight a gastro-intestinal sickness outbreak.   We aren't allowed to touch food in buffet style dining, and we are frequently sprayed with disinfectant.  If you have any complaints you can be seen at the health facility for free. 
So far, the Mayan ruins were spectacular and the kid's pool is outstanding. 
Today, reef snorkeling!  Not bad!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The glamour of Air Travel!

Previously, we said good by to Juju's parents, and promised to see them "soon" (to a 3 year old=forever, possibly never).  A week of grandparent activities, and amazingly few melt-downs... somehow I can't remember any which is a gift of being old a grandparent,.. and a promise that tomorrow we get on the airplane, we finally arrive at the day where we would rise early, drive 1-1/4 hours, and fly 2 flights and arrive at 4:20 PM, in time to go to a hotel, eat, and sleep.  The following morning we take taxi to ship, and meet Mommy!
S.... happens.

Jan 5, 2013 (written at the end of the day)

7:20 am on the road to DRO
7:35 message from united. Flight at 10:00 now delayed to 11:00
Still able to catch connection in Denver 
7:50 message from united. Flight further delayed to 11:50
Unable to make connection. 
Pulled over at turn off to Ignacio. Called united to reschedule. 
Complicated by having two tickets. One for juju and another for us using reward miles. 
United agent, "Maneesh", made arrangements to switch to American but only for Juju. Reward travel not valid on American. 
No options for that day so I mentioned possibility of flying from Albuquerque. 
Booked. Through Houston. 1:20 flight. 
Arrived at airport with time to park, and relax.  No seat assignment for Juju, and flight overbooked. Needed a single person to be bumped but no volunteers.
Re-booked on American flight 3:45 to Dallas. Received $200 airline voucher and $30 in meal vouchers 
Amazed that we would arrive in New Orleans 4 hours later than original schedule, and we drove 4 hours extra.

Toddler meltdown at end of flight over potty chaperone. (Grandma not wanted)
With the use of M&M's as extrinsic motivation, (term used by Angie) problem resolved. 
Moments later I'm met by a distraught Mick who has discovered that neither one of us has his $3000 piccolo trumpet in tow. Last seen taken off the previous flight. 
A quick shuffle of boarding passes, second flight now boarding, mick is put on 10 pm flight and juju and I are on the plane.  We sat at the gate FOREVER it seemed, but probably 15 minutes. I hoped to see mick at any moment, and I anticipated meltdown number 2 when juju realized that grandpa wasn't with us anymore.   Neither happened, and juju was in a great mood, best behavior and we had a fun trip even though her iPad and all of her packed entertainment for the trip remained in Dallas with grandpa. (At decision time I chose to take my knitting and juju's change of clothes instead of coloring books and dolls. ) This was the luckiest part of the trip. 
Arriving in New Orleans, I picked up two suitcases to go along with my duffle and child. Juju took it upon herself to handle the smaller suitcase, and insisted on wrestling it over curbs and across the streets. 
When I asked about shuttles to hotels, I was sent across the street to a courtesy phone area, which did NOT list La Quinta, and my phone had no service in the bottom of this parking garage. 
Took a taxi.  Juju hefted the little suitcase back across the street.  Learned how to stand it on four wheels and push. 
One minute in the taxi my phone started texting me from Mick and Celina. So many that I couldn't read or respond except to the latest ones. 
Arrived at hotel to a nice room, and juju is sleeping like a baby. 
Read all text messages to discover that Mick found trumpet at previous gate, (fears of it being destroyed and/or the airport evacuated were put to rest) and his flight was delayed an hour. I had to laugh... I was comfortable for the night, what else could befall?
Huh!  12:30 am. He should be here soon!
Good news:  central time zone

Friday, January 18, 2013

More than a day late...

Took three projects with me... all with the intention that I could carry them easily, wouldn't be too difficult to knit and focus on other things, AND possibly get one completed.  And I did!  Two would have been better... there were two things that were intended to ship off to Norway, and the second one didn't get finished until this afternoon.
Since the suitcases (and family) left for Norway 3 days ago, I missed the boat entirely.
This yarn was one of those...

  1. see that in the shop, eyes riveted
  2. can't resist, must have sockssss
  3.  but look at all of those colorways, how will I decide?

Bought the yarn while on yarn-tour September '12, in East Rochester.  I can still see it on the shelf.
Where have these socks been?  Here's second sock in my lap on the bus in Mexico
 enroute to Kohunlich Ruins.  btw: Mayan Ruins are still here!
 When I returned, this is what I had:

And it needs a closeup:
I'm going to miss these socks...
Personal pattern:
  • toe up, 
  • instep and ankle pattern: row 1 - *k1, yo, k1, k2tog, ssk, k1, yo, k1* repeat **; row 2 - knit,
  • wrap and turn heel
  • 3X1 ribbed cuff

Yarn:  Jawoll Magic by Lang Yarns Light Fingering / 3 ply
75% Wool, 25% Nylon, 437 yards / 100 grams

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Covering Ground

Because I've been Wildly Busy, and out for the good-time, I haven't blogged, but I've thought of it! In fact, when I sat down a few minutes ago, I was shocked that my mental capacities hadn't transferred to my list of blog posts...I expected to see at least 10 topics since January 1, yet there are none.
Here is a list of possible posts, and if there's something you'd really like to hear/see, send me a comment.'s a great day to knit!
Upcoming posts:
Reprieve of the mittens (All New)
Life as Grandma (Ducks and Deer in the park)
Air Travel (It's Not for Sissies)
Cruise Travel (No dishes!)
Ruins and Snorkels
New Orleans
Finishing Socks a day late (one pair out of 10!)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome, 2013!

What can I say?  It all ended with optimism, creativity, carefree, innocence... (2012), and when I awoke this morning, I proceeded to recognize disaster, ruin, and ... another lesson in learning from my mistakes. (2013)
It started more than a year ago, with itchy fingers, and a search for a fair isle pattern.  The pattern: Hearts and Flowers.
Although my Ravelry page lists this project as "frogged", it was really thrown set aside, hoping that it could be used for something... originally it was to be the body of a pullover for a little girl, growing too fast.
That little girl is now 3-1/2 years old and staying with Grandpa and Grandma for a week;  it's a week of cold temps, and occasional snow, (tempting to be eaten snow), and since big puffy mittens are a bit cumbersome, Grandma thinks that this little girl needs some flexible knit mittens.  After some discussion about color (purple/lots of colors) Grandma thinks she has the answer.  And what could be easier?  Put your little hands down on this, and let Grandma trace!  Willingly done.
 Yay!  Off to the sewing machine... but gosh!  Why is that first one so tiny?
Lesson 1:  Tracing the outline of a hand is not the way:  I discover that mittens are 3-dimensional... hmmm.
Soldiering on I make the second larger.  And it turns out pretty well.  Now, will Miss Princess accept a mitten that is so tiny that it squeezes her fingers together?  Of course not!
Lesson 2:  Just knit, knittinglady!  Instead I pieced together the third one, which involved (but not limited to) seaming by machine, trimming, kitchener, and a bleeding wound on my index finger from getting too close to the screw that holds the sewing machine foot etc.  The biggest problem was finding enough cuff to make a third mitten.
Results?  Probably a throw away.  I have 4 more days of cold to get one use out of these... The inside is a disaster:
 I'm not proud, but hope someone is more intelligent than I, and will realize: START LARGE!
Gosh, they could have been SO cute... I better get knitting...


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