Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday is just fine

It's Monday and that's just fine. We had a nice weekend, including a very relaxing and lazy Sunday yesterday. It was pure bliss to lounge around and be lazy without feeling guilty for a moment. I recommend it to everyone. I figured that I needed this Sunday to rest up for next Sunday! We're having a friend over for the super bowl (a fellow Pittsburgher) and we're planning on noshes and beer and lots of cheering on the Steelers!

This weekend I finished the Cowl and am quite happy with how it turned out:

It's laying on a skein of yarn that I was about wind up for the Wedding Blanket. If you haven't heard, I've been working on a Queen sized blanket. It was supposed to be done for our wedding, but I'm sure you can understand how many stitches that is and how freaking big it is and then you can imagine me in my apartment this summer with no central air and you'll forgive me for not picking this up again until the weather was cold again. I'm working on it every night and I'd saw we're not quite half done. I keep having to stop and wind yarn. I do several skeins at a time, but still....

I just picked my next project and plan on casting on tonight. This is the "Simple Yet Effective Shawl" by Laura Chau. This is another Ravelry pattern. I'm using Farmhouse Yarns Cotton Blossom Yarn by Dixie:

In the reading world, I've made another yarn book purchase this week (this ends my hard copy barnes and noble Christmas gift cards - still have $100 online though, so I'm working on my library) by picking up Knitting America by Susan Strawn:

If you're interested in the history of knitting in America, then this is the book for you (and for me too)! I've been thinking a lot about the roots of this hobby and this book has been a really fun look at how it grew in early America and where it is today. There are some neat old patterns in here as well. This book and The Knitter's Book of Yarn will really keep me busy for awhile - there's just a ton of information to digest, but it sure has been fun.

Speaking of books, we finally took our Christmas tree down and that's important because it means that we could finally set up our second bookcase:

My knitting books had been in sorry shape on the floor of my bedroom. They finally have a happy home and I have access to them too. Our cookbooks got a new and accessible home too - thank goodness! I think the easy access has made the husband so happy that I might finally get him to invest in the big Billy Bookcases that I've had my eye on over at Ikea!

So for now, this is all the news that's fit to knit!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

There it is! I’ve found my knitting mojo, thank goodness. I’ve never had a problem finding my creative outlet before. Knitting has served as a way for me to focus myself on something that isn’t serious and yet has rules that I totally understand. I like that about knitting. I like having something substantial at the end of the dance I take with these sticks and strings. I like to feel things – deeply feel things when the wool is in my hands. Knitting is a treasure that I horde and being without my knitting mojo for a few weeks was hard for me. I’m glad that’s over. What brought me out of the woods? I found the Good Luck Cowl by Christianne Gerstner through Ravelry. Thank you, Ravelry for existing. It’s such a fun and creative place for knitters around the world. I cast on for this cowl using some stash yarn from Knit Picks – a sock yarn in white. I apologize for the shadow in the picture; January has been a dreary and gray month somewhat devoid of sunshine this year. The streams of light tend to come and go as they please.

But there is sun today – just like the Beatles song, “Here Comes the Sun” – today, C. and I and the rest of the world watch history being made as the United States welcomed it’s 44th President. I really wish all the best for President Obama. I’m really excited for his leadership. I love America.

In other news: how about my Pittsburgh Steelers? We’re headed back to the Super Bowl, baby! Go Steelers! I love this team, I love this game I am full of love for everything right now and I haven’t even been drinking! My brother and SIL are Tampa bound. Rachel scored tickets and is taking my brother on the occasion of his 40th birthday. He’s over the moon and so am I – those two kids work hard and have a great life. I’m so glad they’re getting away for a really fun weekend and I really hope the Steelers bring it home for them!

Right now I’m reading a few things of note: I picked up via a BN gift card The Knitter’s Book of Yarn (also know in the knitting world as the Kboy). Clara Parkes gives a really nice point of view about yarn and knitting and provides the facts that you need to really understand how yarn works – there’s a ton of knowledge delivered in these pages. I’m enjoying going through slowly and really thinking about what she’s saying about fiber. The patters that are featured are really lovely too – an added bonus to a book that is not marketed as a book of patterns, but rather a text booth of fiber and its sources. If you want to know more about the materials you’re working with as a knitter, then in my very small and humble opinion, this book should be in your knitter’s library.

I’m also still reading The Portable Dorothy Parker – if you like to laugh, she’s you’re gal. I really do recommend this book to anyone who reads and likes wit.

Also on the night stand is some information from Joyce Meyer. She’s been helping me with letting go of things like anxiety, guilt and stress (these are just a few of the things besides yarn that I like horde). Since practicing her methods of embracing new ways of thinking, I’ve really found a more peaceful way to exist. It’s been nice. It’s been good for a lot of things in my life. This is a Christian based teaching and that makes all the difference. If you aren’t down with G-O-D, you might not find it helpful. But I am down, so it does.

See – a few weeks with nothing to say and now it all comes spilling out, so I leave you now, but I’ll be back. I’ve got my eye on some other new knits and hopefully I’ll have some finished cowl pictures for you in a day or so.

Till then my fellow Americans, that’s all the news that’s fit to knit!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I'm Sorry

Dudes, I've been trying to write an interesting blog post for weeks now, nothing is happening. It's been work and personal stuff and that's it. I took very few pictures over Christmas and I'm just at a loss. I'll be back - I hope. Maybe my creative suck (I can't knit anything either) will fade away. Maybe I should just blame this on the economy too. Sigh. I might just start knitting garter stitch blankets soon just to try and get past this darn drought.

I did get a lot of Barnes and Noble gift card cash this Christmas I picked up Clara Parkes' book, The Knitter's Book of Yarn. I'm really looking forward to learning a lot from it. I need to start pairing yarn with patterns and not the other way around. I've got so much wool from a tiny dealer who doesn't write patterns, that I have trouble finding patterns for un-marked yarn. This book should give me the tools to start pairing yarn and more importantly, yarn weights with patterns (thanks, Ravelry!).

So that's what's happening here. I'm snuggled on the couch, drinking a beer and watching football playoffs.

More later, till then, I'm not knitting and that's just not fit!