January 21, 2016

Odd Bits

This year has gotten off to an odd start, don't you think?  Our economy is in a tizzy, the weather is nothing if not odd--at least in Georgia it has been--and my knitting has been nothing if not an odd collection of mismatched, random projects. Sales in the shop are way down over last year, even though January is usually one of the better months and I've introduced an exquisite new yarn: Silk Sheep. Also, my blogging has fallen to the wayside for no particular reason. I don't mind saying that I'm feeling completely out of sorts.  Truth be told, I feel like I am waiting for something to happen, something large and unsettling.

In an attempt to get back on track, here are the odd bits of knitting that I can call finished projects so far in 2016.

Gansey Hat

This hat was knit up in colors according to a mood board for a pattern submission that was a bust.  I'm not a fan of red, but the blue is pretty and this hat has certainly come in handy working on the barn and feeding animals through the past two weeks of unpleasant weather. I'm planning to knit it again in something much less dramatic and release the pattern in February.

Custom Order: 6-9 mos.
While we are on the subject of hats, I did this custom order for someone's great, great grandchild. I used 100% hand dyed baby alpaca that I had in the stash from when I used to sell this in my shop.  I'm afraid I have no pattern for you.  Mostly I just made it up as I went along to imitate the best that I could a picture of a crocheted hat, and I was in such a rush with this order that I just trucked through it without leaving behind any notes.

These are the first socks of the year. They are the ugliest socks that I have ever knit. They don't even photograph well.  When I bought the skein, I was wrongly deceived.  All of the very ugly fluorescent yellow was hidden inside the skein and I had no idea that there would be so damn much of it.  Yellow makes me crabby, and my stash is completely devoid of all things yellow.  It was a horror to knit through this pair because of that color, and they are so far from what I had imagined that they may not see much more than the sock drawer.  I know, some people love yellow and have commented on Instagram about how great these socks are so they are probably not as bad as I perceive them to be. The thing about these socks is that they seem to be completely indicative of how this year has begun: not what I wanted and with much less dazzle than expected.

Then there's the sweater.  I began this Two Hearts sweater in January of 2015.  I worked 4 inches and it sat on my desk, taunting me for an entire year.  I picked it back up and have made it almost to the finish line for the ... back panel.  Almost.  I was going to have this piece finished by last Friday, but life has gotten in the way like a defensive linebacker on the one yard line. I'll offer you this link, but as beautiful as this sweater is, there's not much on Ravelry for it. It comes from the book A Fine Fleece by Lisa Lloyd.

I can also offer these socks for January, though they are likely not going to be finished until February, which I have managed to knit so automatically that they are completely without a cuff.  They're just a MadelineTosh navy kettle dye with a lost label that I've knit straight-through in a 2 x 1 rib.  

I sure do feel like I just can't get my head in the game.  I hope February is more than a bit less odd.

December 29, 2015

An Ear Warmer Thingy

I don't know what you call this thing, but my husband posted this picture to my FB page yesterday and told me to "make some of these".

You know, because he's an engineer and not a knitter, it didn't occur to him to share a picture with a link to the pattern. (I don't know who you are, but thanks for modeling!) When I went on Ravelry, I couldn't find either that picture or a pattern to match.  So I wrote one with a wider rib and knit up the darned thing this morning.

It didn't take but a minute.  And because there are others of you who also probably have husbands who will want you to knit one of these ear warmer thingys instead of just wearing a cap that covers their ears because that would make far too much sense, here's the pattern: Baseball Cap Ear Warmer Thingy.  Feel free to make as many of these dumb things as you can stand (just don't copy my pattern and sell it as your own work of art because that would be both rude and illegal).

December 22, 2015

All Kinds of Unwanted Gifts

It's 3 days until Christmas--well, more like 2 and a handful of hours--and some pretty unpleasant gifts have been delivered by probably the Grinch. For me personally, there is the gift of this crazy, awful, haven't-been-this-sick-in-years flu/head cold from Hell virus that at least waited until all the work was done on the barn on Saturday to start killing me slowly and painfully. Three days in and each day has been a new set of miserable symptoms that trump those of the day before. It's safe to say that this, in combination with the fact that the 2 skeins of yarn that I needed from Knit Picks to finish what was set up to be the most amazing Penguins hockey cap ever in the history of hockey took 7 days to arrive (while the yarn I didn't need right now that was ordered later took 2 days) means the end of any expectations that I had of a Christmas FO. I finally had to just throw in the towel and order a ball cap. I'm not very merry about it, but I am too sick to kick it into high gear and the husband is going to be home through the holidays so I'd have to knit in the closet and that's not weird or suspicious at all.

The other unwanted gift is this mid-summer weather that we are about to be hit with in late December. We couldn't beg, borrow, or steal rain over the summer but now that we have half of the walls up and half of them on the ground to be put up for the main floor of the barn, we will be getting 10 days of insanely heavy rain with temps in the upper 70s (because what we all secretly want Santa to bring is hot, humid, gloomy, sticky weather for Christmas, right?)

That's not the best part. There's a threat of TORNADOS tomorrow with rain upwards of 2 inches. If there's one thing that can be counted on around here, rain or shine, it's high winds. We might as well live on the windward side of the Alps. High winds and flood water are the enemies of barn builders and Christmas revelers. It's going to be a tense next 3 days around here.

The last unwanted gift of the season, which is directly connected to the fact that Mother Nature has lost her friggin' mind, is the onslaught of summer insects. We are being overrun with, first, lady bugs and now stink bugs and house flies. What season is it again?

At least everything, and I mean everything on my list (save that one pesky hat)--I do all the shopping, sometimes even for myself, at Christmas--except for one measly gift card, has been bought, knit, hidden away, or wrapped and shipped. I've even gotten the groceries, which was no small feat of magic with one foot in the grave and a Walmart full of crazed holiday shoppers. I'm down to the wrapping of the last few packages and the praying that the most wanted gift on my husband's list actually shows up by the 24th like it's supposed to. I'm relying on the U.S. Postal Service, so chances are ... we'll get it on the 26th. 

This is not to say that we haven't had our share of blessings this year. We have had more than our fair share and we are grateful. Despite every only-in-the-movies kind of craziness that has been thrown our way, we have come out of it with more lemonade than lemons. It's been a rough year, and I, for one, am thankful to be looking at the end of it with the people who have my back and love me unconditionally to share it with. (Well, there are probably conditions like "I'll love you forever if you take me to practice, mom!"--I have teenagers.)

So tonight, I'm just going to slurp my chicken noodle soup loudly because no one is home to hear it, maybe knit something, wrap a couple things, and fall asleep watching whatever old movie I can find on the TV with my fingers crossed that Wednesday will be quiet and uneventful.

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