Friday, November 2, 2012

Does anyone besides me feel like the holidays are coming way too early this year? Everwhere I go there is Christmas stuff up already. Trees, ornaments, lights, cards and a whole array of other things that just remind me how much Christmas knitting I need to get finished. Normally I don't start getting stressed out about it until Thanksgiving, realizing at that point I only have a month to finish the numerous projects I've cast-on. Which, of course, I will never finish all of them. Are you one of those people that always casts on what you feel is the perfect gift for someone, but because you have too many of those someones there are projects that just don't get finished in time? That's me. So then I figure I'll knit it next year and have a head start on it. But generally those projects get put in a closet, never to see the light of day.

So already seeing all the Christmas stuff out is making me really stressed, and it's barely November! How about you? Are you feeling the stress of the holidays yet with regard to your gift knitting?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday Knitting

How many of you knit in lines while waiting to check out during the holidays? This time of year everywhere I go is crowded, so I always have a sock bag with me with a pair a ongoing socks in it. The nice thing about the sock bags I use is that they have a handle on them. That makes it easy for me to put it on my wrist and knit while standing in line. My favorite socks bags are like these:


My friend Mel makes these for me. She's such a talented seamstress, I keep telling her she should open her own Etsy shop, but she hasn't done it yet. The handle is large enough to fit over your hand and it tends to stay on your wrist while you knit. So everywhere I went this holiday season, the sock knitting went with me. Standing in line at the grocery store, at department stores, wherever. It's amazing how much sock knitting you can get done that way!


There were places that I stood in line as much as forty-five minutes, and instead of getting all stressed out, I just stood there and knitted on my sock. Which garnered quite a few comments, as you can imagine. Children especially seemed quite fascinated by the whole process of my standing there knitting. And, surprisingly, a lot of men seemed quite intrigued by it as well. Especially older men. I actually had a man about seventy-five years old ask me when his socks were going to be finished! He was quite funny and we chatted while I knitted and we waited in line.


The thing that amazes me about knitting in long lines like that is how much conversation it can generate as well. There is nothing like fun or funny conversations to make the time go faster and to remind you that is really is a special time of year. Slowing down and doing something to de-stress can really make you feel much happier about the holidays instead just upset about all the things you still have to do.


I hope you all had a great holiday, and I wish you happiness and lots of knitting in the new year.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Today is the day for us to feed all the neighborhood children too much candy and allow them to run wild through the streets dressed as their favorite character. I don't know about where you live, but for me I can't possibly get any knitting done with the constant having to answer the door to give out candy. I love the really little kids. They are always so darling in their little costumes, many of them too shy to even say Trick or Treat, so Mom or Dad has to say it.

I did finish my Halloween socks. Every October first I start a pair, and it is the knitting I carry with me all month while I'm waiting at doctor's offices, etc. I don't know about everyone else, but I don't do well knitting socks at home. I find it tedious to knit them for more than an hour or so. I generally work on larger projects at home, like sweaters or shawls, and carry socks with me as my outlaw knitting. They are easy and portable. I knit Halloween socks in October, since people always comment on my knitting. So when people ask, it's fun to say that I'm knitting Halloween socks and show them. I'm calling this particular pair "Frankenstein's Brew Socks". The yarn is from Dyelectable Yarns http://dyelectableyarns.bigcartel.com/ and the color was one of a run of self-striping Halloween colors she did. This one was called "Radioactive Brew". It reminds me so much of Frankenstein, that I've taken to calling them my Frankenstein socks. These are the socks I was knitting at the Pumpkin Festival, you can just barely see the colors of them in that post, in case you were curious.

Here is a close up of the pattern. Don't you just love the way it makes those little up and down ridges with the little yarn overs down the row? Very clever pattern and it was a really fun knit. The repeats of the pattern are easy to memorize, and they literally felt like they flew off my needles. The pattern is a free one from Knitty.com called Broadripple http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEsummer03/PATTbroadripple.html.

I hope you have a safe and Happy Halloween.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Friends, Knitting and Pumpkins

Located in Southern California, in a suburb of the San Fernando Valley, lies a small city called Calabasas. They are famous for their annual Pumpkin Festival. Having lived near the city for more than twenty years, it's not something I go to regularly. But this year was special. A friend that I "know" from Ravelry was traveling through our state while on vacation with her husband.
She lives in Chicago, so she was a long way from home, and this may be our only chance to actually meet face to face. When she found out about the Pumpkin Festival, she scheduled in a Saturday of her vacation to go and for us to meet up there, in person, for the very first time. You see, Michelle has a serious thing for pumpkin. It's one of her favorite foods, so the idea of a festival with food booths and pumpkin themes was a wonderland to her.

Saturday dawned a little foggy and cool, but being Southern California it burned off by ten am or so. I arrived at the gate of the Pumpkin Festival, excited to finally meet up with her. We were texting back and forth on our phones trying to locate each other. We finally found one another and we were off on our adventure of exploring every booth, exhibit and pumpkin food concoction ever thought up.

One of the most interesting food items that we found was a pumpkin whoopie pie. I just had to take a picture of it to show people. Isn't it amazing what food creations people can come up with when there is a theme involved? I didn't try the whoopie pie but Michelle did. She said it was good but very rich. We also sampled pumpkin cakes, pies, cheesecake, cookies, scones and a score of other pumpkin goodies. There were even things like Pumpkin Olive Oil, Pumpkin Spice Vinegar, Pumpkin Salsa and other oddities.

When it came time for lunch, we weren't all that hungry, but the food choices were endless. I don't know what it's like where you live, but in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, Food Trucks are big business. They have competitions, cook offs and you can actually get a Twitter feed from your favorite food truck so you can find it when you have a craving for it. Every time they change their location during the day, they post it on Twitter. (Just for the record, I don't follow any food truck tweets.)

The Pumpkin Festival had scores of Food Trucks. They were all parked toward the back side of the festival, so we headed that direction. There were so many choices! Besides the typical Fair foods, like funnel cakes, kettle corn, and deep fried items, you could have Thai food, barbecue, Mexican food, pulled pork, smoked tri-tip roast or chicken, burgers and fries and endless other choices. Michelle and I settled on splitting a Chicken Quesadilla from the Mexican food truck and were fortunate enough to find an empty table with an umbrella for shade. Which was a good thing, because at this point it was about ninety degrees and we were hot, thirsty and needed to sit a bit.


We also met up with another Ravelry friend while we were there. She and her family go to the Pumpkin Festival every year, she lives right there in Calabasas. So Dani met up with us while we were eating and took a few minutes away from her kids and the rest of her family to chat with us. I met Dani on Ravelry several years ago, and when we realized we only lived ten minutes from each other, we have been best friends ever since.


Of course, being good little Outlaw Knitters, we both had sock knitting with us, so after we ate we sat in the shade, resting and chatting and knitting on our socks. Both of us had cast on Halloween socks a few days before, which we thought was amusing.


After our rest we went and explored another section of the festival. Here we bought matching Calabasas Pumpkin Festival tee shirts. That's Michelle in the picture holding hers up. That was at the booth for the City of Calabasas. I also bought a canvas bag with a pumpkin on it because we all know that you just can't have too many knitting bags!


Sadly, before we knew it, the day was over and it was time for us to go.

We had a great time, even if it was hot, and said our goodbyes. Is there anything better than meeting up with friends and spending the day chatting, eating and knitting? I don't think so.

Friday, October 14, 2011

National I Love Yarn Day!

October 14th is national I Love Yarn Day! This year is the first year of this declared holiday. Who thought it up? The Craft Yarn Council. Yes, there really is such a thing. According to their website the purpose of I Love Yarn Day is to: Show it off, tag with it, carry it, gather with friends. Declare your LOVE! Get involved. While I Love Yarn Day is a time to share your passion by knitting or crocheting in public and teaching others how to engage in your craft of choice, it is also a time to get more involved in charity crafting and use social media to share your wares and love for yarn.

Whoever thought this up deserves a medal. Who loves yarn more than knitters? So go out in public with your knitting and show everyone you support this commemorative day brought to us by the Yarn Craft Council.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I may have gone a little too far...

Let me preface this by saying that I never go anywhere without my knitting. I have sock knitting projects in both my car and my hubby's, just in case I get out somewhere and don't have a project with me. When the sock gets to where I'm turning the heel, it comes into the house and another sock project is put into the car to take it's place.

There is nothing worse to me than being out somewhere and needing to kill more than 15 minutes and not having knitting with me.

Okay. So now for the rest of the post. I was sent to a Cardiovascular surgeon because of problems with my legs. It's turns out I have to have a series of four surgeries, four weeks apart. When asking about the surgery, he said that it is done under local anesthesia, and it takes approximately 2 hours. Here is how the conversation proceeded after that:

Me: "Can I drive myself or do I need a ride?"
Doctor: "It depends on the patient. Some are more stressed about things like this than others, and need to be given something."
Me: "Can I knit during the surgery?"
Doctor: Who at this point is looking a little stunned "You mean like with needles and yarn?" (Now mind you, I've been sitting in his office knitting during this whole conversation)
Me: "Yeah. Like what I'm doing now."
Doctor: "Well, you'll be laying down."
Me: "That's okay, I can knit laying down, too."
Doctor: "You aren't going to need a ride home. I'm pretty sure you won't need the Ativan."

I stil haven't gotten a definitive answer if they will let me knit or not. The poor doctor looked a little shell-shocked. But I plan to resume the conversation at my next visit. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Oh The Horror!

I am a fairly young woman. 33 isn't all that old. Of course ask my kids and I am borderline senior citizen. I am also fairly new to the yarn arts. I learned to crochet years ago but only a single stitch. I have been working on expanding my talents. In December of 08 I got a wild hair up my bum and taught myself to knit. And I love it. I still crochet but I think its more difficult. Anyhow, recently I have begun knitting in public. It sounds harmless. I guess that the needles can be looked upon as weapons. My husband will certainly reconsider stealing any of my fries! But I love to knit and my schedule is hectic so I have to find my spurts.

I started out doing it at school. I attend a community college working on an accounting degree (already work as an accountant....this won't make me lose outlaw status will it?) and so before, after, and in between classes out came whatever project I had on me. But recently my addiction became stronger.

Earlier this week I went to an indian restaurant (east...not native americans). I simply love gorging on this spinach fried bread they have. I finished before my companions and proceeded to get anxious and sweat. I thought about it, got nervous. I had heard how people stared at knitters and here it was in the back of my mind. Then I bucked up, maybe I wouldn't need to worry. And who cares? I am not hurting anyone. So out came the project. And out came the stares. I could feel it all over. The couple at the table to my left were the worst. They stared until I looked up. I figured it out and finally just knitted and stared at them while they shifted nervously in their seats. I looked down a few times on the purl stitches cause I am not as comfy with those. But I never gave up. Hubby started giggling at my staredown. My father in law couldn't figure out what was going on.

Today we went to a wing place. Normally I wouldn't think to knit there BUT they gave me some handy wipes and I was nice and clean. So out the project came. Not too bad this time but two younger ladies (younger than me, 20's-ish) started pointing and giggling. This actually upset hubby to no end. That's ok. When we got up to leave we had to walk by them. I stared at the brunette's head real hard, burst into laughter and said "Babe, this one is going gray before me!!". That chick sucked in more air than a brand spanking new Hoover.

Imagine if I had a tank top of and two of my tattoo's hanging out.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The New Spooktacular Halloween Activity!

Our children have been so desensitized to the horror of Halloween that commonplace handcrafts apparently scare the jeepers out of them!

My son and I headed to my mother's house for Trick-Or-Treating and helping pass out candy. She didn't have the house all decked out this year (owing to her recent skin cancer surgery) and neither of us had on costumes. My son (who is 8) was a blue ninja. Nothing scary there, right?

Wrong!

Everything was fine for this pair of little ones that came up for their candy, until they turned and saw me knitting. I have never witnessed such an abrupt change of mood. They both paused for a second, staring as if transfixed...then starting crying and wailing like some monster just stole their favorite toy away or something. They then dived behind their parents legs, continued to cry, and peek out at my knitting again.

How do I know it was the knitting and not some horrid fashion faux pas on my part? Well, when I tucked the "uber-scary" green striped dishcloth and needles away in my bag...they stopped freaking out! I was even able to coax them over for extra goodies (to make up for the "trauma"). They gave the bag with "the evil" in it a wide berth, but didn't seem opposed to more treats. The parents were confused and apologizing, to which I assured them it was no big deal. They left with only an occasional glance at "the bag with the scary stuff in it".

Who knew that a plain old, striped green dishcloth being knitted would be the epitome of horror this holiday? As a Mom, I was horrified that something I love so dearly could cause a child such distress, but on the other hand...it was so freaking strange that it caused a secret snicker deep inside.

Skeletons, Zombies, Murderers, and Monsters beware! Us Knitters own on Halloween!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Summer Is (Almost) Here

Three more days of schools for the mini Outlaws. THREE! I am so happy about this. I love having my kids (and their friends) around me all summer. I love planning outings with them where I can go do some Outlaw Knitting while they enjoy whatever it is they do. I think we'll find some caves to explore again this summer, and maybe go to a few baseball games. And I think I'll make Bobbi and her little Outlaws go to the park with us and maybe the zoo in Peoria. We can watch the tigers and knit socks or something.

And Bobbi and I need to dye many yarns for our Etsy shop, Wooly Booger Yarns. If any of y'all have a shop you'd like to list on the sidebar, let me know. I'd be happy to list it for you.