Bitching, with sparkly yarn and a baby girl to balance things out

This is my sentence acknowledging that it’s been far too long since my last update. There, now I can move on.

Little has changed since my last post–I’m still feeling reticent about picking up the yarn and sticks, and instead have been spending far too much time in front of the tv doing….nothing. I still haven’t frogged K’s failed hat; haven’t mailed J’s finished hat; haven’t tried again with my sister’s hat.  Damn hats! I have on occasion picked up the languishing My So-Called Scarf (the one with the bright yet scratchy Red Heart), which is now about a foot long instead of just six inches.

However, I did get started on a shawl this weekend when I took a friend to the hospital. I knew in advance she’d be needing a ride, so I reviewed my yarn, picked the Valley Yarns Wildwood that I bought at Webs over Christmas, and picked the Sunday Market Shawl for my pattern, which is basically stockinette until the very end and therefore would be easy to knit if I’d ended up in complete darkness for three hours like last time (I didn’t). Sadly, as beautiful as it’s knitting up, I’m starting to think the yarn and the pattern should never have been paired.  The shawl is narrower than I’d wanted, more like a scarf, and the fabric is denser than I’d imagined for this yarn. It’s pretty, just not what I’d wanted.

Gah! I feel like a big ball of suck right now, like I can’t pick the right pattern for any given yarn. *sigh* I could continue with this yarn and this pattern, but if it doesn’t work out, it’ll be a bitch to frog it (mohair and sparkly thread), and I don’t want to give up on the yarn. It made such a pretty shawl in the Webs store.

In other news, I’d like to thank Melanie for her lovely comment on my last post–it cheered me up that day when I saw it. I don’t think I’m over the hump yet, but I won’t give in entirely–I love yarn too much.

And finally, in totally AWESOME news, I have a new niece! Hailey is seven days old today, and looks just like her dad. Welcome to the world, Hailey darlin’! Hopefully I’ll get to meet you and your big brother this summer!

Hailey!

slump

I haven’t been posting in awhile, but mostly it’s because I haven’t been knitting/crocheting much. My friend K’s hat is finished, but wrong–it’s more slouchy than beanie, which means I really will have to frog the whole thing and start over, and I’m so not looking forward to that. I finished the single-crochet scarf (Patons Soy Wool) while I was at the hospital two weeks ago with K, who was admitted after experiencing heart attack symptoms (wasn’t a heart attack, whew!), and I started a hat with the leftover yarn, but only had enough for the crown. I tried starting the hat my sister asked for, with the purple Lion faux-suede, but ugh, that yarn is tough! I got discouraged fast. I did start and finish another hat for a friend that asked for one since she has a hard time shopping for hats (larger than normal head size), but I haven’t got around to mailing it to Iowa yet.

That has been the extent of my yarncraft in the past three weeks. Pathetic, yes? I haven’t even been to the SnB group on Thursdays since Valentine’s day, and won’t be able to go next week as I have plans for that night.

This is why I don’t often take requests–if I get bored or stumped with them, I feel guilty about starting something more interesting until I get cracking on the obligations, so instead I do….nothing. I’m so predictable.

That’s all I’ve got. Depressing, no? Here’s something a little more cheery:
Aspen
It’s a picture I took of the Maroon Bells in Aspen back in 1999 or 2000 (can’t remember the year). I’m going to Colorado next month and hope to go hiking at least once while there, if only to get more cool photos like this one.

Bored with my projects

I haven’t updated in awhile because, well, I’m bored with my current projects. They’re taking too long, and as usually happens with my short attention span, I’m losing interest.  On occasion I’ve even found myself staring at my purple Dakota and wondering what I can do with it, but I stop myself from picking it up, because I have four projects that need finishing, dammit!

And really, “four” is a conservative number, given the other projects I’ve dropped before they’re completely finished. Even from where I’m sitting, I can see the tank top that is only half a back; the My So-Called Scarf that’s about six inches long that I’ve since forgotten the stitch for; and the red and white purse that has a few more rows to go before it can be bound off and felted. And I know, hiding behind those, are a couple of to-be-felted purses that need handles either kitchener-stitched together, or attached to the insides of the knitted bag. Not to mention the UMass granny square scarf; the spring-colored granny square scarf I started last summer; the felted purses that need holes punched for the i-cord handles; the log cabin blanket I haven’t picked up in months–oh, and that reminds me that I have a niece due to be born next month who’s going to need a blanket! Gah!

But first, there are two hats and two scarves to be finished. How to get my mojo back, I do not know. 🙁

It's picture-palooza time!

Yesterday I took pictures of the projects I’m currently and actively working on, so today I get to share them with you! Yay!pictures!

WIP: Kristen's knitted hatThis hat was knit for my friend Kristen to match her birthday scarf. I cast on 80 stitches onto size 11 needles, same as I did for the hat for my brother-in-law, and yet, this hat is enormous. I don’t think I can save it as is, so I plan to frog it and start over, this time on size 10.5 circs with ten fewer stitches.

WIP: Snowflake motifThis snowflake motif will eventually, someday, be one of many that’ll join together to make a scarf for my sister. I’m using the yarn she bought at WEBS. The motif took me over an hour to complete, so who knows how long it’ll take me to make the whole scarf.

WIP: Tam knit in roundMy tam! I’m using the pattern from the current Knitty for this faux-fair isle tam, using two strands of Paton’s Wool. I tried using a strand in each hand, but I couldn’t get any tension from my left hand, so I’ve been holding both strands in my right hand, and I’m getting pretty good at it. Sadly, I think this hat is going to be way smaller than I’d hoped (yes, I know I should gauge swatch, but that’ll probably never happen), so I’ll have to think of a child deserving of such ugly colors. *g* Also, I think my stranding might pull a bit, making it even tighter, but I won’t know for sure until it’s done.

WIP: single crochet scarfThis is the single-crochet scarf I’ve been working on since the plane home last month. It’s the project I take with me to work on at lunch or while waiting for, say, the dentist, so it’s slow going, but I’m nearly finished with the second ball of Patons Soy Wool Stripes–now I just have to find the third and final ball. I’m sure it’s around here somewhere.

So that’s what I’m working on right now. My favorite at the moment is the tam, because not only am I learning something new (double stranding and working from a color chart) but it’s neat to see how the pattern emerges when I’m only focusing on one row at a time. Plus I’m always pleased when something that looks so hard and forbidding, turns out to be not so bad at all.

And now I’m off to see a baby about a smile. 🙂

A tam, a scarf, and a quickie wrapup of my week

Looks like I’m getting back on the habit of not posting as much as I should–well, phooey.  I even had to go back and read what (and when) I’d last posted, so I could remember what’s been up since then.  Oh, for the discipline of NaBloPoMo!

So let’s see, when last I posted, I was heading to the LYS to pick up some Debbie Bliss Silk Alpaca in chocolate brown.  It turned out rather well, and I was quite proud of myself.  Despite browsing for nearly an hour, I came out of the store with only the one ball of yarn and three magazines–not cheap, but I didn’t add to my stash, so it’s totally a win!

The hat for which that yarn was purchased is nearly finished–as is typical for me, all that’s left is the seaming, which it’s been waiting for for a week now. Very sad. Just like the blindingly bright granny square afghan is done except for the weaving of the ends. I really suck at finishing, but I hates it so, I do! And of course, rather than do finishing, I’ve started two other projects–the motif scarf for my sister, and a colorful tam from Knitty.

The scarf is the Snowflake Scarf from the latest Crochet Today (pg 26), and so far I have one motif done (in a rusty red), which isn’t much progress, but the damn thing took me over an hour and I needed quiet to concentrate, so you can imagine how often complete quiet pops up in a standard day. I may try to block off a lunch hour or two this week to try to make some  headway.

The tam is Tam C from the latest Knitty, and it’s my first project ever using a chart. Well, ok, there was a heart chart once in a sampler square, but that was easy compared to this chart, so it doesn’t count. 😉 I started it last night using two balls of the Patons wool that I bought during my felted bag phase; the base color is light green and the variegated is red, orange, green and navy. I already screwed up the first round, but I think I’m getting the hang of holding two strands. I’m worried my stitches might be tight enough to pull it into a scrunchy tam, but not worried enough to start over.

I’ve also been going to the WeHo SnB group (if you can count twice as ‘been going’–it was raining Thursday and I couldn’t make myself walk out the door). It’s hard breaking into a group that’s been together for as long as those people have, but there are a few other people who are relatively new who are in a similar boat, which makes it a little easier. 

I think that’s it for yarn related news.  I could go into my neverending leaking window saga, or the hours I’ve spent this weekend trying to learn content management systems for websites, or my cousin’s wedding in Scotland that I desperately want to go to but so far haven’t figured out how to afford it, or the many interviews we had at work this week for two of our four open positions, but I’d be typing for hours. Suffice to say, it’s been a busy week.