Archive for July, 2007

13 Minutes

July 29, 2007

That’s how long my parents lasted with Meatloaf. Thirteen minutes. I had anticipated that it would be loud – too loud for my mother to enjoy, but I was way off. My father called it “absolute noise” – and he’s not one of those fathers who complains that all that crap the kids listen to these days is noise. He really meant it.

Apparently, Mr. Loaf’s preference for performing is to crank up the volume to a decibel level that can inflict pain. (Did you know that a sound measuring 120 decibels is 10 times louder that a sound at 110 decibels? The decibel scale increases in a logarithmic formula . . . . oh, give it up. I don’t remember the details, but let’s just say my dad knows stuff.) He said it was so loud, you could have started up a jet engine in the arena and no one would have heard it. Both of my parents wore earplugs (such good planners!), but they didn’t help at all. My dad said his teeth hurt.

After what seemed to be Mr. Loaf’s second song (it was hard to tell if they were actual songs because it was really just noise and Meatloaf screaming), they left the arena, joined by many, many others. One woman said she had to take her heart medication because the noise made her heart start to pound.

I talked to my mother after the conversation with my father. She said that Meatloaf looked like he was “drunk or on something” (Disclaimer: Mr. Loaf, please understand that is simply her opinion based on her observation of you – and from a distance, I might add. Although there were close-ups of you on the two large screens that flanked the stage. And you looked pretty sloppy.) Meatloaf had a red bandana tied to his microphone on the mike stand and my mother asked my aunt why she thought he had it there. My aunt’s reply was, “so he can find it.”

My parents, my aunt, and my uncle were able to salvage the night at Mohegan Sun by having drinks and a good dinner. My uncle really salvaged the night by winning $600. Not too shabby. At least they didn’t pay for the tickets.
Now, the knitting:

This is my monkey. I’m trying to love the monkey. Trying. But I’m not loving the monkey. The monkey is wacky looking. The pattern is lovely. The yarn is beautiful. They just don’t work together. I didn’t realize that this yarn (TOFUtsies) was going to make such big, irregular stripes. It looked to me like it would be an overall variegated yarn. Not happy, but not giving up. I can’t stand the thought of ripping it out. I’m just going to finish – I’ll make a mini-monkey like Cara did at January One. I looked around last night and found some pattern modifications on various websites (like this) that I might try on my next socks. Just sad. No fun when something doesn’t come out like the perfect work of art I envisioned in my optimistic head.

At least I didn’t have to listen to a big, sweaty man scream his head off.

Poking Me in the RIBS

July 27, 2007

Still on the sock kick. I brought my finished sock and my sock-in-progress to S’nB last night. I even let a few people hold my baby – I mean sock (yes, they were careful and gentle). I’m happily knitting the sister (the girls were joking last night that my socks will be Irish twins). I thought I’d find it boring to knit the same sock over again, but I’m actually enjoying it. I feel like I know what I’m doing – a very experienced, accomplished knitter kind of feeling. (I’m such a faker.)

I’ve also cast on for my 2nd set of twins. I’m attempting the Monkey sock pattern from Knitty, using TOFUtsies #719. The yarn is much finer than the Magic Stripes. I started the sock yesterday on #2 dpns, but after knitting the cuff and half of the pattern repeat, I realized that it was too big. I must be a loose knitter (the only area of my life in which I’m loose, I’ll have you know). I ripped it out (painful) and started over on #1s. Knitting the first several rows on dpns is something I find very awkward. I fumble and fight with the needles, grateful that I’m knitting in solitude in the privacy of my own home. If anyone ever observed me during this time, I’d bet they’d take the needles and yarn away from me and hand me a box of crayons and some newsprint, assuring me it’s for my own good.

The Monkey pattern calls for an inch of K1P1 rib. I have a very strong dislike for knitting in twisted K1P1 rib. Can’t stand it. It’s so tedious and it takes me forever, especially when I’m at the awkward beginning rows on dpns. All that back and forth with the yarn. The thought of K1P1 all over again on tinier needles made me want to impale myself on the dpns. I decided to stick with the K2P2 rib I’d done on my first socks – although that’s not a barrel of laughs for me either. In the picture shown above, I’ve just finished the ribbing (did you hear the WOOHOO?”) and I’m ready to begin the pattern. A little nervous. The cuff seems so much smaller than the too big cuff from the #2 dpns. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. If I have to start over, you’ll have to put me in the cage with the monkeys at the zoo.

Just a little chuckle to share. Today, my parents, who are in their seventies, are going to the Mohegan Sun. Not to gamble. Not to enjoy fine dining. But to attend a concert. Josh Groban? No. The Spinners? Nope. Gerry & the Pacemakers? Nah. I know, I know . . . .Glen Campbell? Wrong again (he’s not coming until August – and no making fun – I like Wichita Lineman). They’re going to wear their concert tee-shirts and raise their Bic lighters for MEATLOAF! Actually, my mother will probably have her fingers in her ears, asking “Does it have to be that loud? It’s kind of loud, isn’t it?” My father will keep looking straight ahead, pretending he’s not with her. To be honest, they didn’t purchase the tickets. They didn’t see Meatloaf on the list of upcoming performers and shout, “We’ve gotta score some seats!” They were invited by my father’s brother and his wife to share in the complimentary tickets they’d received. Perhaps they initially misinterpreted the invitation as an opportunity to go out and eat meatloaf, and then didn’t want to back out once they figured out what they’d gotten themselves into. But still . . . my parents are going to a Meatloaf concert. My mother’s ears will probably be ringing for days. My father will probably be cranking up the volume on a newly acquired Meatloaf – Bat Out of Hell CD. Ain’t no doubt about it, we were doubly blessed . . .

Look What I Can Do!

July 25, 2007

Here it is at the almost-done point. A few more decreases to go.

Decreases done. Ready for kitchener stitch/grafting. Consulted various resources including my Complete Idiot’s Guide to Knitting and Crocheting (page 245). Great instructions.

Ta da!

I did it! I made a real live grown-up’s sock.

It might not be the most perfect sock in the world, but it’s my sock and I love it like it’s my child. I learned a lot by following the Yarn Harlot’s sock recipe. I think it was such a good way to start, rather than just following a pattern. I understand the construction of the sock. I get it. I can’t wait to do the next one. I’m on the fence as to whether or not the next one will be the mate to this one, or if I’ll try a Monkey . . .

. . . As I look at the sock on my foot right now, I’m feeling a little guilty. I think my sock might need a sister. It’s probably not much fun to be an only sock. Sure, sure, you’d get a lot of attention and you’d be a little spoiled. My son can attest to that. But it would also be nice to have someone to hang out with and share secrets with when you’re folded in the drawer or bunched up in the laundry basket. Better cast on.

Did I tell you I made a sock?

Now I Get It

July 24, 2007

I’ve read a bajillion knitting blogs and so many knitters seemed to knit socks. Jaywalkers, Monkeys, Sockapalooza, Summer of Socks. Socks, socks, socks. I didn’t get it. I appreciated the value of a handknit sock. I knew I could go into a store and buy a pair of socks for a few dollars, but that didn’t mean that handknitted socks weren’t worth the yarn cost, time and effort. It just seemed to me that socks would not be fun to knit – tedious, tiny needles, dpns. Why would all of these people want to knit socks?

Now I get it. I don’t want to sleep. I don’t want to eat. I don’t want to take a shower, get dressed, or leave the house. I want to knit this sock. I’m in love with my sock. It’s amazing to me to see it coming along. I can’t resist trying it on. I love my sock.

I want to knit more socks. I don’t really want to knit the mate to this first sock. I want to move right on to a fancy sock pattern, like the Monkey. I want to knit it out of really great yarn, like this. I want to ignore my miters, my cardigan, and even the EZ Baby Surprise Jacket pattern that arrived yesterday (soaking wet in my mailbox!). It’s all about socks.

A note about the EZ BSJ . . . I skimmed over the pattern and it’s wacky (for me). I’m sure that when I make myself sit and read it carefully and get started, it will come together. But at first glance . . . yikes. Thankfully, I have help from the WEBS podcasts and from notes I’ve found on a few websites. I’ll do it. But first, socks.

It Worked!

July 24, 2007

I worked all of the decreases and I’m back to the original number of stitches that I casted on.

I wonder if I can get this done tonight. Um, it’s 12:47 AM. Not likely. Well . . . maybe.


July 24, 2007

I did it. I picked up the same number of stitches on each side of the heel flap. Have to admit to a little help from a video, just to make sure I was going to do it right. Their video really made it easier for me. Now it’s time to decrease. This is fun.

Time To Pick It Up

July 24, 2007
Did the heel flap:

Turned the heel:

Looks a little triangular, but I’m not going to question it. Now I’ve got to move on to the part that intimidates me the most: picking up the stitches along the side of the heel flap. I’ve picked up stitches in projects before, but they were either in fluffy slipper socks or in felted bags where the stitches would never show.

Time for a bag of microwave popcorn for courage.


July 23, 2007

Here’s the sock. It’s going pretty well. I was having some ladder issues, so I moved my stitches around, and then went to 4 needles. Looks okay – for a first sock. I’m ready to start the heel flap now. So exciting! Aren’t you practically falling off the edge of your seat waiting to see it?

In other good news, the OneSkein KAL site has been wrestled back out of the hands of the pornographers and it appears to be in good shape. A little tired, a little shaky, and probably in desperate need of therapy. Poor thing.

In even more good news, my favorite Laverne & Shirley clip is back on You Tube! I watched. I laughed and snorted. Again.

I Feel a Sock Coming On

July 23, 2007

I’m really doing this! Two inches of K2P2 ribbing, then straight knitting. It’s already 3 3/4″ long. I’m so proud. Silly, but proud.

Knitting A.D.D.

July 22, 2007

No doctor necessary. I can diagnose myself. Can’t stick with one project for any length of time – short attention span. Constantly thinking about other projects I want to knit. Bookmarking websites, buying knitting books, ordering patterns. Mitered square blanket, tie-front cardigan, some booties to finish, a hat to make, the EZ Baby Surprise Jacket, and that other Mitered U sweater . . . and tons of other things I’m itching to try. Then, out of the blue, I want to knit socks. Not the socks I started a while back, but new ones. And I have to start them today.

It’s all because of the Yarn Harlot. She’s coming to CT in a few weeks and I can not show up for her talk and book signing without my first real sock. It would be disrespectful, right? This sock, of course, must be knit according to the Harlot’s sock recipe. I headed to the store to buy size 2 bamboo DPNs (yes, Mom, I had a coupon) because I’d go nuts trying to prevent my stitches from slipping off of my metal needles. I also bought Lion Brand Magic strips yarn in Bright Spring. The only sock yarn I have isn’t self-patterning and I knew I’d need to be entertained by watching a pattern develop in order to get myself to finish the socks.

So here’s my progress:

I know I’ve shown a similar picture before, but my heart just wasn’t in that one. I’m all excited about the idea of seeing Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and I know she wants me to knit these socks. Better get back to it.