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Archive for February, 2008

Extra Day

Happy Leap Year! Every Leap Year, I feel like I should be doing something either extra special, or extra productive. I mean, here is a whole extra day that only comes around every four years, and who couldn’t use an extra day now and then?

Since the day was already made extra special by our awesomely warm Denver weather (62 degrees in winter, thank you very much), I decided to be extra productive. I’ve got almost all of my weekend chores done, and took Boomer out for his extra special/productive long walkie, and still have loads of time left for knitting – yippee!! Can’t ask for much more than that!

Boomer decided to spend his Leap Day with his special little froggie friend – turns out, he gets 7 extras days this year – seeing as he’s a doggie and all!

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So, as I continue working on my green circular knitting project thing-a-ma-bob, I learned something about myself. I don’t believe everything I read. This could be considered a good thing in most areas of life – especially since I love love love reading trashy magazines and juicy tid-bits online, but it would appear my distrust has eked over into other areas of reading. Case in point – knitting patterns. It’s kind of amusing, really, since I’m still such a beginner that I really wouldn’t know something was wrong with a pattern until I was done knitting it, and even then, who knows. But as I got to the part of my pattern that called for some decreasing and eyelets, I began to get dubious.

I made my first yarn over eyelet, then the next two decreases – as per the pattern. I made one more repeat – yarn over eyelet, two decreases – then held my work up for inspection. Aha!! Just as I suspected – I saw neither eyelets OR decreases in what I had just knit. Sure my stitch count had changed, but that didn’t prove anything (I also seem to have an uncanny ability to dismiss proof). I re-read the pattern again, and again….and again. Nope, didn’t miss a thing. “Okay Pattern”, I thought to myself, “We’ll try this your way. Then we’ll see who’s right!”. So I finished the round of repeats, then knit up two more rows after that. Well, what do you know? Eyelets and decreases – exactly where they’re supposed to be! How clever!

Okay Pattern, you win this round, but I’ll be keeping my eyes on you! And I’ll try to keep my Instant Gratification expectations and mistrustful nature in check!

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Twisted Circular Logic

As I continue on my way to developing Mad Knittin’ Skillz, the next item I wanted to tackle was knitting with circular needles. I had already tried my hand at the DPN’s (double pointed needles) with the great sock fiasco, and actually liked knitting with them – not so crazy about the sock making situation, but I haven’t given up on that just yet. Knitting with 4 to 5 needles at once was definitely fumbly and awkward, but after a few rounds, my knitting became quicker and smoother. Before I knew it, knitting with a handful of needles at once felt almost natural.

Once I became more comfortable with the DPN’s, I figured “Hey, circulars can’t be all that hard. After all, there’s only one of them!”. So, off I went, over-confident and clueless. I grabbed some 16″ circ’s, an “easy” pattern and some yarn, and cast on 144 stitches. I was very very careful not to twist the stitches. Everything I have ever read about knitting with circs states over and over “Careful not to twist the stitches!”, so I was extra careful – kind of.

Attempt Number 1: Stitches cast on (did I mention there were 144 of them?) – check! Make sure all stitches are facing the same way – check! Place marker and join the round – check! I was off and running until……….I was knitting with the tail of my cast on!!!!!!!!!! NOOOOOO!!!!!! Frog Number 1.

Attempt Number 2: Stitches cast on (another 144 stitches!) – check! Wrap tail end of yarn in bobbin (see how the monkey learns?) – check! Place marker and join the round – check! Begin knitting……..umm, I think I forgot something- stitches are completely twisted and crooked. Frog Number 2.

After stepping away for a few minutes – Attempt Number 3: CAST ON 144 STITCHES!!! – check! Make sure no stitch twisting has occurred – check! Wrap tail end of yarn on bobbin – check! Make sure no stitch twisting has occurred – check! Place marker and join the round – check! Make sure no stitch twisting has occurred – check! Begin knitting (making sure no twist stitching occurs) – check!
Hooray – success! Not so bad once you get the hang of it – yay for the teachable monkey!!!

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Off Topic Tuesday

Even though Spring is still officially several weeks away, the weather in Denver today was very spring-like: 61 degrees with a bright shining sun. So, as I was taking Boomer, the wonder pup, out for a nice long walkie, I took a moment to turn my face up towards the sunshine, and noticed something a little curious.

All of the trees around me were bare of leaves (which is not the curious part – it is still winter afterall), except for one. One little limb of one branch of one tree had some straggling survivors clinging to it – left overs from last fall. Sure they were very crunchy and dried out looking. And, yes, they had lost their lush green color. But there they were. Still on their tree branch. Now, this may not seem like a big deal, and at first I almost dismissed it. But as I continued on my walk, I started to tally up in my head all of the snow storms we’ve had this year so far, not to mention the few wicked wind storms that have made their way through as well. And through all of that, these few little leaves have stayed their ground (or branch if you will). A true testament to the randomness (and sometimes stubborness) of Mother Nature.

I’m rooting for these little leaves to make it all the way till the rest of their leafy buddies come back later on next month. So many tales they will be able to share, including the one about the weird girl taking their picture while her doggie tinkled on their trunk.

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Clearing the decks

When I first starting out knitting, I made a promise to myself to do only one project at a time. In the beginning, it was easy to keep this promise to myself, as I was only doing scarves, dish cloths, and maybe a hat along the way. But the more confident I become, and the more skills I learn, I am now finding myself with more than a few projects on the needles. That long ago promise has been smashed to bits, and I really don’t feel too badly about it!
But now, it’s starting to become a small problem. Besides just developing a love for knitting, I have also developed a love for reading knitting-related items. Magazines, knitting books from the library, other knitter’s blogs, and the mother of all time stealers and knitting inspiration – Ravelry! Just thinking about all of the projects I can’t wait to start, makes my head spin, and I get a little anxious. And, of course, we all know the best way to ease that anxiety – Knit more!!

So, this weekend, I decided to take a realistic look at what exactlyI have on the needles, and what I’d like to finish in the forseeable future, and it’s not sooo bad – a couple of very very very late holiday gifties, a baby shower coming up in a couple of months, a promised item or two – then it’s all wide open, and I can start fresh!
I love that there’s always something new to start, and really no end in sight as to what I can do with some needles and yarn.

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Heart-land

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!

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The new lesson I have learned from my doggie, Boomer, is to not sweat the small stuff. Case in point, haircuts. To be more specific, BAD haircuts. They happen. To all of us at some time or another. We’ve all been there, I’m sure. Either the stylist doesn’t listen, or you don’t speak Portuguese, or she doesn’t speak Maltese – whatever the barrier. You end up looking like you had your hair cut at the Barber School for the Criminally Insane, and it pretty much wrecks your mood for the next week!
Boomer, however, takes it all in stride. He gets that bad haircuts can happen to good doggies (or people), and it shouldn’t wreck one’s day.

There are ways to deal with such a situation. For example, divert one’s attention by wearing a cute top:

Or go for that wet hair/dread lock look. It will make you seem “edgy”.

Or you can simply pass the time napping.

But never forget, IT GROWS BACK!! And enjoy the days when your hair does look good, because chances are there’s another crazy groomer just waiting to get their hooks into ya’!!



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