March 31, 2011
That's a good question, where are they now? I have no idea. Once I give my knits away, I really don't give it a second thought. I have made handmade gifts for my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law every year for the last few years and I don't think I’ve ever seen either of them wearing or using the items that I’ve made them. Ok, that’s not entirely true. My mother-in-law loves an Asian inspired quilted table runner that I made her a few years ago after they went to China. She always has it either on her dinning room table or in her family room on a side table.
But my sister-in-law, I’ve never seen her use anything I’ve made for her. Granted, we’ve never been invited to her house so I don’t know what’s going on there but I’ve knitted her scarves and shawls and never seen her using them. I guess I’m of the school of thought that I got pleasure out of making the item so if she never uses them, that’s on her. The funny thing is that last year I decided not to put so much pressure on myself and fore go the hand made Christmas gifts last year and she’s the only one that pointed out that she didn’t get anything hand made. Weird, I thought she didn’t like getting handmade.
I’ve only made one thing for Hubbs. I knit him a pair of socks over a year ago and have been told that they slide down inside his work boots so he doesn’t like to wear them. This I can understand and I don’t take offense to. Personally I love handmade socks. They fit better and wick away sweat better then any socks I can buy but I get where Hubbs is coming from.
Hand knits for my family is a totally different story. Being that my Grandmother and my mother are avid knitters themselves, they know how much work goes into a hand knit item. My older sister doesn’t knit but she does quilt by hand so she also understands what goes into a handmade item. They love wearing handmade items and my older sister always points out to me when she’s wearing a pair of socks that I’ve made for her. She’s too funny, actually they all are. If they get a compliment on an item that I’ve made, they’re sure to tell the person that I’ve made it for them. But the best compliment I’ve ever received from my grandmother was a couple of years ago, she gave all the other grandkids hand knit sweaters…except me. She told me that I knit better then her (so not true) and that she’s not knitting for me anymore since I out knit her, so I got a pattern and some yarn. Lol Best compliment ever. The woman’s been knitting for something like 50 years and there is no way that I’m a better knitter, faster maybe but not better.
As for the things that I make for myself, some are folded and put away, others are in a pile on my dresser. Right now I’m wearing my Lovely Leaf Lace Scarf. Roheline, My Girl Friday and Buttercream Jacket are the ones in the pile. Honey Cowl is hanging on the coat hook right inside my bedroom door and my sock drawer is full of nothing but hand knit socks. I love my hand knits. I feel odd getting dressed without at least one hand knit item. I love them and I love getting compliments on them. There is no sense of accomplishment that measures up to getting a compliment on a sweater that I made from nothing but a pile of string with two sticks.
March 30, 2011
March 29, 2011
After looking over my projects page on Ravelry, I noticed a real change in my knitting over the past year vs the years prior. I didn't start knitting until the end of 2007. Prior to that I was strictly a quilter and had never had a desire to cross over to knitting. All my projects leading up to 2010 were small objects; hats, socks, scarves and stoles. I made 19 pairs of socks alone in 2009.
2010 was a different story. I didn't complete nearly as many projects but I made lots of large projects. I learned to seam and not fear it, it's still not my favorite thing but it's doable. I learned a new cast-on method and a new way to make button holes. But I think the biggest thing I learned to do in 2010 was learn to convert a pattern to work it in the round.
I don't think my skills are too advanced and I'm sure there is always something to learn and places to improve in my knitting. Of all the things I learned my favorite is that my Grandmother thinks I'm a good knitter. She has been knitting for years but brags about me to her knitting friends. That is my greatest skills accomplishment of 2010.
March 28, 2011
When I got the stuff home, I wound it into center pull cakes. And in winding it to those cakes I realized that this stuff was stiff and scratchy. But I didn't give up on it. I faithfully knitted those enormous cakes into my Buttercream Jacket (more like Coffee with Cream due to the color).
So in February of this year, I was, once again, looking for some yarn that could get my hands on quickly. This time I was looking for something to make Roheline from Twist Collective Winter 2010. Criteria was the same as before, cheap and plenty of yardage. Again a trip to Joanns was in order. I attempted to avoid the Fisherman's Wool like the plague but I kept being drawn back to it for the Oatmeal colorway. Finally I picked up a skein of the stuff and discovered that unlike the Heather Brown, the Oatmeal was soft (not super soft but decent) and it didn't seem like it would be itchy like the Heather Brown was either. Generally once I have a bad experience with a yarn or find that I just don't like it, I don't give it a second chance. But coming from a place of yes (also a place of being cheap), I decided to give it a second chance.
But this time, I ended up with a very comfortable and easy to wear sweater that I really like. The wool is beautiful and warm. It's only itchy within reason, I mean it is wool after all.
March 27, 2011
March 26, 2011
I don't talk about my job much here but suffice it to say that my job situation is really bad and I've been looking to leave for a while. The state currently has a hard freeze on hiring which means that I can't even transfer to a new division and do the same job somewhere else. Of course with the hard freeze I wont be able to go somewhere else anyway but when the freeze is lifted I will be able to get a better job.
The hard part is that I love my current co-workers and I really do like my job. I know it sounds weird when I say that my job situation is bad in one breath and say that I like my job in another. But it's true, both statements. If management would stop setting our unit up for failure by giving us realistic time lines and due dates things would be different. But what can you do when they refuse to listen? Not much...or look for a new job.
I shouldn't blame our management. They're great. It's government. They want it all without providing enough staff to actually do the job and they don't care if you need more staff. It's like a whirlpool around here. Crap is constantly flowing in from the field, so we feed crap to management who feeds it to the legislature/Governor. Who then sends it back and starts the cycle all over again.
Anyway, I didn't start this post as a way to gripe about my job, my bosses or my government. Fingers crossed, I'll do great on this test, get offered tons of awesome jobs, promote, make more money and be happier at work. Fingers crossed.
March 25, 2011
March 24, 2011
March 23, 2011
March 22, 2011
March 21, 2011
March 20, 2011
March 19, 2011
March 18, 2011
A - Age: I'm 35
B - Bed Size: Queen
C - Chore you hate: Taking out the trash
D - Dogs Name: Rexragous International Dog of Mystery "Rex" & Dixie
E - Essential Start of the Day item: Coffee
F - Favourite Colour: Blues and greens
G - Gold or Silver: Both
H - Height: 5ft 9inches
I - Instruments you play: Piano, want to learn to play mandolin
J - Job: Analyst
K - Kids: None
L - Living Arrangements: Live in a house with my husband, two dogs and one cat
M - Music You Love: Classic Rock
N - Nicknames: Weezie & Sister
O - Overnight Hospital Stay: None
P - Pet Peeve: Tardiness
Q - Quote from a Movie: Too many to name
R - Right handed or Left: Right
S - Siblings: 2 sisters, one older and one younger
T - Time you wake up: Between 4:30 and 5
U - Underwear: Cotton
V - Vegetables you dislike: Green Beans
W - Workout Style: I used to run and I'd like to get back to it
X - X-Rays You've had: My knees when I was a kid and recently my right foot and my left hand after a motorcycle accident
Y - Yummy Food you make: Lots, I love to cook
Z - The best place to Visit - I love to travel but one of my favorites is Tamales Bay
March 17, 2011
March 16, 2011
I don't normally talk about politics or current events here but I've been the events in Japan pretty closely. While listening to the news at work yesterday it suddenly dawned on me that an earthquake like what happened in Japan could easily happen here. I'm on the safety team at work, we've recently had an earthquake drill and talked about disaster preparedness. After that meeting, Hubbs and I talked about what we need to do to prepare in case of an earthquake but other then purchasing a few bottles of propane we never did anything to prepare.
This morning I went to the American Red Cross site and found a list to build a preparedness kit. The list has everything from food and water to emergency radio and blankets. I think that Hubbs and I will be building one of these kits and soon. California is very active with earthquakes and being that we live in the California Delta, tsunami's are a real possibility. However, that water would have to travel a really long way before it would reach us, but the possibility is still there. Watching those images on last nights news of the water rushing in and washing away cars and houses was very frightening.
I don't ask for donations ever but I think that donating money to The Red Cross can really help the people of Japan. If you can donate, please do. Even $5 can help.
March 15, 2011
I've slit off for the two fronts and the back. I've finished both fronts but I'm stuck on the back. I'm to the point where I need to do the short rows for the top before binding off for the neck but I just don't get the directions.
The directions say:
Shape shoulders: (RS) Work to 5 (6, 7, 8, 9, 10) sts from arm edge, wrap and turn, 2 times. Work
to 12 (12, 14, 16, 18, 10) sts from arm edge, wrap and turn, 2 times. Work to end of row picking up wraps and working them together with their sts, 2 times. Return held shoulder sts to needles, turn work so that WS is facing, work 3 needle BO across 17 (19, 22, 25, 27, 30) back and front left shoulder sts, BO 41 neck back sts, work 3 needle BO across 17 (19, 22, 25, 27, 30) back and front right shoulder sts, break yarn.
I just don't get it. Am I working to the far side and then doing the wrap and turn? Am I doing the near side? I just don't know why I'm having such a hard time with this. I did the wrap and turns on both of the fronts without a problem but these directions are baffling me. I've looked for help on Ravelry and it doesn't seem that anyone else is having this problem. I really want to finish this sweater so I can wear it.
If anyone can explain this to me, feel free to jump in because I'm sitting here with my dunce cap on.
March 14, 2011
On Saturday Hubbs and I were doing a little shopping and decided to run over to REI. I've been a member of REI for something like 20 years. I bought my membership back when I was about 13 and was doing a lot of backpacking with various groups including Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. When you live in a really small town, sometimes you have to join forces to have enough people to go on a trip. I've backpacked in Lassen National Park and in Grand Canyon among other places with these groups. I loved it.
When I got older back packing wasn't something that I had much time to do. But day hikes on the weekends are totally do able. While I was at REI, I found this great book 60 Hikes within 60 Miles Sacramento. Now I have lots of places to hike and it even tells you which ones are dog friendly.
March 13, 2011
In the first book of this brilliant series, Stephen King introduces readers to one of his most enigmatic heroes, Roland of Gilead, The Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner on a spellbinding journey into good and evil. In his desolate world, which frighteningly mirrors our own, Roland pursues The Man in Black, encounters an alluring woman named Alice, and begins a friendship with the Kid from Earth called Jake. Both grippingly realistic and eerily dreamlike, The Gunslinger leaves readers eagerly awaiting the next chapter.
March 12, 2011
March 11, 2011
March 10, 2011
The blocks started coming in January of 2010 but I never worked on them. I just put them away and never even looked at them. When I did look at them I discovered that I needed the Dear Jane book by Brenda Manges Papadakis (check out her Dear Jane website, pretty cool). Every time I looked for the book it was sold out. For my birthday my mom got me the book.
Over the weekend I decided to see if I could get started on the blocks. So I pulled out month one and got to work. I didn't manage to finish month one before the end of the weekend but I did finish 6 out of the 10 blocks.
A-2, One - Two Buckle My Shoe
March 8, 2011
March 7, 2011
March 6, 2011
Dies the Fire by S.M. Stirling
March 5, 2011
March 4, 2011
So as to not waste a day, I paid bills and balanced the check book but after that I ran out of chores to do. The house was already clean and honestly even if it wasn't I wouldn't have worked on it anyway since I just wasn't up to doing anything to strenuous. So instead I did a little shopping for stitch markers on Etsy. I found tons I like but I really wanted instant gratification. I hate waiting for stuff to ship. So I made my own.
March 3, 2011
It's got one big pocket and one small pocket. In the big pocket it's also got a waterproof sleeve for holding a 16oz water bottle and one small pocket which is plenty big enough to hold my cell phone.
The flap also has a small pocket in it that's just big enough to hold my car keys and a lip balm for easy access. It's a great bag.