Saturday, June 30, 2007

Road Trip!

We're just back from Cleveland. We enjoyed an Indians' baseball game, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and two yarn stores. It's about a five-hour trip from our home, and all was going well until we closed in on Columbus, Ohio (about two and a half hours into our trip). We blew a tire! "Blew" is actually too strong of a word. It just sort of gave out, thank goodness. I've heard nightmarish stories about people having a blow-out and losing control of the car. Luckily my husband was able to guide the car to the shoulder of the exit (we were planning to take a break for lunch and a stretch, anyway). My husband is not terribly mechanically inclined, but he can change a tire with the best of 'em. However, we've never had to change a tire in the car we were driving, and it turns out that the jack is not very good. My husband was fighting with the jack while I tried to keep him from being hit by the tons of people who were exiting (and not slowing down one bit). I also was attempting to keep an eye on our six-month-old, who was sleeping in the backseat. Then, along comes a lovely, kind stranger who helped us out. He had a hydraulic jack, and helped to get us on the road in no time. He also had a very sweet dog named Darcy. I asked him for a card so that I could send him a thank you (I envisioned myself sending him a pair of knitted socks), but he didn't have one (I thought perhaps he was an off-duty police officer, but he wasn't). He simply said "I'm just a guy who will stop if someone needs help," and he and Darcy were off. After they'd left, my husband and I discussed the etiquette of the situation - should we have offered the stranger some money? I really don't know what is appropriate in that situation. My husband said that if he were to stop and help someone, he wouldn't accept money, so I hope that the kind man does not feel cheated in any way. Despite the bum tire, we did have some good fortune - there was "Mr. Tire" right off the exit where we stopped. They were very busy, so it took a couple hours, but they had us on our way in short order. And in retrospect, we think our daughter quite enjoyed the two-hour layover - it gave her a lot of time to stretch her legs and play.

As we were pulling out of Mr. Tire, I pulled out my knitting to continue work on a sock. I found the ball of yarn, but no sock, only a trail of yarn leading to my closed door. I yelled at my husband something like "Dear God! Stop!" He probably thought the baby was sick! He stopped, and I was able to retrieve my sock, not too much worse for the wear (just a chipped stitch marker). I was concerned for a few minutes that I had lost my fifth needle (and it was my set of Sox Stix, which I love), but it even turned up after some frantic digging. My awful, mean, horrible husband said that he felt that it would have been much more entertaining if the yarn/sock trail had been much longer, and that some unraveling really would have made his day. The whole thing made me think of Yarn Harlot's story about knitting at the ice rink - at least it wasn't that bad! I'm including a picture of the sock that was in jeopardy, back home safe and sound (but still unfinished).

My other big knitting project for the long car ride was working to finish the pieces for the block cardigan sweater from "One Skein". I did it! Proof is in the picture of everything blocking. I'm not sure how I'll feel about the colors/striping once it's all together, but it was a lot of fun to experiment. It will probably be ready to seam together and add the applied i-cord edging Monday night. I also worked a few rows of my husband's sweater, my husband's sock and my mother's sweater.
We stopped at two yarn stores, although I had tried for three. The first attempt was to go to River Yarns, which apparently has recently closed. We then proceeded to Birds of a Feather (, which was a neat shop in an old barn. The bottom half is quilting needs, and the top half is knitting. I didn't end up getting anything there, mostly because I was obsessing about sock yarn, and they didn't have anything I couldn't live without. It was a lovely store, though, and I will visit again if I am back in Cleveland. By happy accident, we stumbled across French Creek Fiber Arts (, which is in the same little shopping village as Birds of a Feather. It was a cozy store with some spinning/weaving choices as well as yarn (I don't do either, but I can recognize the gear!) I picked up a skein of Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn and a ball of Tofutsies. I am keeping both away until I finish a few more other projects, though. The lovely woman who waited on me explained that the River Yarns store had closed, but it had a companion store (or something like that - anything I write here that is incorrect is my error and not hers), River Colors Yarn Studio ( I didn't make it there, but I will definitely try next time.
The Indians game was quite nice. Our daughter was too excited by the lights and sounds to sleep, but she did behave very well. We also enjoyed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Cleveland seems like a very nice city; I am sorry that we didn't have a little more time to explore.
Confession: I haven't yet cast on for Mystery Stole 3. I don't think I have the focus to do it tonight, so I will aim for tomorrow. I am hopeful that a group of knitters in my city will get together to knit on this on a fairly regular basis - I know I could use the support. I will cast on and finish at least 30 rows by Monday night, though, and that will leave me the holiday to get to 99, before the next clue posts.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

To gift or not to gift...

I finished a sweater vest and cap for a baby shower. The honoree is having a boy. I knit the sweater in the 12 month size. My husband thinks the cap is ridiculous. He calls it a "jaunty little hat", and he doesn't mean that in a nice way! So, do I give the cap with the sweater? The mom will already hate me; it's 100 percent non-superwash wool! Here's a picture of the whole ensemble. It was knit from a MaggiKnits pattern booklet using a Maggi's yarn (Tweed Fleck).

I think the hat is kind of cute, but my uncooperative daughter wasn't thrilled to act as the model. It's clear that my cat is interested...

I think I probably will send it along. I am pleased with the entire package, with the khakis and oxford I bought to accompany the sweater. I hope the mom-to-be will like it. Luckily, she lives hundreds of miles away, so she can't physically harm me for gifting her a handwash item for a baby!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Is there anyone out there?

I received some advice on the knitty board. I was told to think of this as a knitting journal, and that would make it easier, perhaps make it seem more natural. That will be my approach, because I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around the notion of posting to cyberspace.

This knitting journal is dedicated to my lovely daughter (who shall be called ZEN here) and silly cats. I love to knit for my daughter, and much of what I post here will be pieces I have completed for her. And cats and knitting are simply good partners.

I suppose there is a small amount that is also dedicated to my husband, but only a small part, because he takes too much pleasure from making fun of my knitting.

My initial musings will focus on the following themes:
Finishing projects on the needles
Tackling Mystery Stole 3

Currently on my needles:
1. Child's vest knit from a Maggiknits pattern. Actually, it's off the needles and blocked, simply awaiting seams. This will be finished tonight and sent off to my husband's cousin for her baby shower. I will post pictures later.
2. 18-24 month dress knit from a Filatura di Crosa pattern booklet for my daughter. It's a pretty adorable stripey thing. About three-fourths complete. I will post pictures once I'm ready to block.
3. Wool child's block sweater from One Skein. Back is complete and one front panel is complete. I have to finish the sleeves and the remaining front panel. It is knitting quickly on yarn from the Ayany women's coop.
4. Socks... Three different socks. I do not expect that any of them will have a mate.
5. Christmas sweater for my husband. Knitting it from a Classic Elite pattern, but using Dream In Color yarn, which I am adoring. About halfway up the front panel. I have a long way to go, because my husband is a big and tall guy.
6. Christmas sweater for my mother. This, too, is being knitted from a Classic Elite pattern, and I'm using Classic Elite tweed. It, too, is plodding along. Christmas is months away, right?
7. Feather and Fan scarf knit from koigu for my mother-in-law. I am aiming to complete this for her birthday in September, but Christmas might be a good fallback plan.
8. Lace scarf from an Annie Modesitt pattern I received at an Annie Modesitt workshop. It's beautiful and I have no idea why I've been neglecting it since October.
9. There are more, but I don't really want to face that reality.

All of the above, however, will be put to the side this Friday in favor of...

Mystery Stole 3!
My First Mystery Stole participation, and I am excited. I am using Zephyr, but I am using a deep wine color (claret, I believe) that was in my stash. I have purchased beads, but I remain a little intimidated by the beading.