Thursday, May 24, 2007

Intestinal Fortitude and the New Neighbor

OMG! I am so astonished that I put down my knitting (gasp) and came to share my new neighbor with you.

The back story: We live in a newly (last 5 years) developed area with 12 lots. It is arranged in a 'court' type area with a 5 acre pond on each side so nearly all of the homes have pond in their 'back yard'. The area used to be a gravel pit long, long ago. Up until last summer we were one of 2 homes and the other lots were unoccupied.

This is a small community where families have raised their families, have raised their families. We've been here for 4 years and are still 'outsiders'. Kids from all over the town have always come to these ponds to swim and I believe they always will. I know a woman who swam here growing up and she is 50 years old!

The back sides of the ponds are undeveloped and owned by one family who are smart enough to realize that the kids are going to come and they don't stop them as long as they are congenial. If foul language has been expressed, the kids have always apologized for offending and returned to an acceptable disposition.

Enter the new neighbors: They are middle aged retirees and have built many-a-quality-home in this neck of the woods. This is meant to be their final resting place (no pun intended) and they are also building their daughter a house next door to them. I heard that their other daughter built the house across the street and just moved in...not a tight-knit (pun intended) neighborhood, ya see?

The new neighbors (she a retired teacher) have grown children and apparently have forgotten that kids are kids. They DO NOT like kids swimming in any part of the 5 acre pond they back up to...

Sidebar: I really saw this coming and thought the community kids would have gained revenge last Halloween

The new neighbors cont'd: Up until now, it has been pretty low-key where my 14-year old son and his friends are concerned. He has good friends, I know them. They are respectful and helpful and pretty funny to listen to. Awhile ago, my doorbell rang and the new neighbor (wife) stood at my door. I must say, her body language and twisted face gave it away - she was upset!

Me: Hell......
NN: (interrupting the greeting and talking loudly) Is your son one of the boys back there swimming?
Me: Yes, he is with two of his friends. Is ther......
NN: Do you know what kind of kids he is spending time with? (no breath) AND he is on private property!
Me: I know his frie...
NN: The one with a beard is using filthy language
Me: My son and his friends are 14 - they do not have beards. Many many kids go swimming back there. (glancing over her shoulder, I see at least 2 cars which had transported kids to swim) It is a big pond, they are not with those kids. I will take care of my son and his friends getting on the private property, they shouldn't be doing that - I apologize.
NN: WELL, you should be more concerned with the company your son keeps

(ok, I'm getting pissed!)

Sidebar: At this point, my son's two friends are coming up the driveway, my son is coming across the street to avoid walking on anyone's kid! Meanwhile, NN is hastily retreating down my driveway while yelling various parenting tips over her shoulder. She gets to the curb by my mailbox and turns and yells that I need to...

Me: Kids have always come here and they always will. Maybe you should have taken that into consideration before building your house.
NN: Those ki...
Me: (finally raising my voice a small tad) Don't stand at the street yelling at me, go home
NN: Now I know where your son gets it!

Summary: Ok, she got the last word. Seriously, I am amused. She was a teacher? No wonder our school system leaves much to be desired.

Anyway, the boys filled me in (and I saw beard-boy scramble to a car). A couple of the other kids did choose to use foul language after being chased down and harassed by said NN. 'My kids' were talked to and told that is not a way to resolve anything...they already knew that. Beard Boy and Cousin of Beard Boy remain unknown to 'my kids'. Must have been a random swim-by. 'My kids' will not again rest on any 'private property' (the ponds are not part of their land deed). Just for good measure, they also will not go onto the shore on NN's 'side of the pond'.

As for the NN; I guess we won't be exchanging birthday cards and I'm going to look out this Halloween. They were lucky last year, but you know those kids are going to get are kids.

Hmmm, I'll bet NN would be nicer if she knew how to knit!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Knitting - past, present, future

So....I tagged Wanda last week and she graciously meme'd (which I found very interesting) and then posted an 'inventory' of her own. I'm intrigued and decided to be tagged myself:

Bold for stuff you've done, italics for stuff you plan to do eventually and normal for stuff you don't intend to do.

As a knitter, I reserve the right to change my mind and cast-on something not planned at any time in the future!

Afghan (only half finished)
Garter stitch (sworn off due to the boredom factor)
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up (tried it, honestly - I didn't GET it)
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up

Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL (Briar Rose)
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn

Domino knitting
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with Bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn—soy blend
Toy/Doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
baby items

Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffiti knitting (I don't even know what this is - say Google!)
Continental Knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit

American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Knitting with Alpaca
Fair Isle Knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors (does grass stain count?)
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies...)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars

Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else's handspun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male to knit
Knitting for a living (otherwise, I will never use a portion of my stash)
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dyeing yarn

Steeks (yes, I'm planning...yikes!)
Knitting art
Knitting two socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars simultaneously-Why??Fulling/felting
Knitting with wool
Textured Knitting
Kitchener Bind Off
Knitting with beads

Long Tail CO-that's what I use the most!
Knitting and Purling Backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegated yarn-umm, can you say socks!!
Stuffed Toys
Knitting with Cashmere (still trying to figure out if there was really cashmere in it)
Knitting with synthetic yarn

Writing a pattern
Gloves (They were great gifts!)
Knitting with Linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mits/armwarmers

Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public (before it was cool)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Lutea Lace - Shoulder Shell modeled

Ask and you shall receive! Doulicia has been thinking of making this pattern from 2007 Summer Interweave Knits.

I adjusted the size to a 38" by adding 8 stitches at cast on.

After working the decreases, I had 60 stitches left (which was the number for a size 40").

I worked the short rows as noted and finished according to the size 40 schematics. When working the lace shoulders, there were not enough stitches for a complete repeat (I believe it was one stitch short). The pattern is such that I just worked the last 2 stitches (instead of 3)as called for (*k3 became k2 for row 1; k3 tog became k2 tog for row 2). After the first 4 rows, there was the correct number of stitches. Also, for the Left-back shoulder, I reversed the order of the stitches and worked backward i.e. Row 1: k3 (2)*, yo, k1...(don't forget, you are one stitch short on this side too~repeat what you did for the right-back shoulder).

After accomplishing the first two shoulders, I just repeated what I had done for the front two shoulders.

You can do it Doulicia!! E-mail me if you get stuck.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Back to creativity

The idea of knitting lace shawls appeals to me. I can become fanatically passionate when something creative sits on my mind for awhile. I have books, needles, and have amassed many skeins of yarn ideal for knitting lacy shawls.

There is the Tilly Garden Shawl that I have nearly complete. My first stab at knitting a lace border on - it is going well, but has been pushed aside. Chris asked for a sample for her shows and that has been finished and delivered. It was a joy to make and I am sorry not to have taken a photo of it before hesitantly handing it over to her last weekend.

It is not surprising to me that I picked up the yarn, pattern, AND needles for this Feather and Fan shawl while visiting Charleston, SC last month. It was destiny and the stitches were cast-on before we returned to our villa that evening. I've continued to work on it since returning home. I am content to finish a few rows and peruse the wonderful memories we created on such a fantastic adventure.

A LYS had stocked O~Wool Balance. It is 50% organic merino and 50% organic cotton. The colors were fabulous and I decided on the Lutea Lace pattern in the 2007 Summer Interweave Knits. The yarn is dreamy and blocked beautifully. The pattern has some issues and will no doubt have errata published, but if you are comfortable with your knitting, you will be able to figure out where they went wrong. I used size 7 needles and less than 4 skeins of yarn.

My needlepoint has gone by the wayside. After visiting Theresa last week, I decided to shock her and get to work on my bargello pillow. I finished all of the boring stitches and only have the varying, exciting ones left. At this rate I will have my first finished needlepoint project finished by July 4th - I don't count the eyeglass kit I made for my mom a few years back.

All in all, the decrease in work has much improved my spirits and allowed me to return to my creativity. I'm hauling butt to finish one more work in progress because Chris asked for another sample...and it is a pattern I have long wanted to knit!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Acck! I've been tagged

Kristy tagged me and I'm ok with that. Just remember - these are Random facts, not interesting facts, knitting facts, or top-secret facts.

Each person who is tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write in their blogs the 7 facts as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog.

Here we go:

1. I have more yarn in my stash than a handful of retail yarn shops that I have visited. I'm not proud or ashamed of this fact, but realize that it does give me lots of options.

2. I have a tatoo. I got it to celebrate my 30th birthday and it is about the size of a nickel and unseen by most. People who know me would be very surprised by this, me thinks.

3. My dream career growing up was to be a Veterinarian. I have a passion for all animals. We have 2 dogs, 2 cats, 1 hamster, and 1 canary (that sings).

4. One pet peeve is to 'love and keep animals, but do not EVER smell them'

5. I have never smoked or tried to

6. I have tried quilting, crochet, scrapbooking, sewing, card making, rug hooking, needlepoint, weaving, cross stitch, basketweaving, and knitting. The ONLY things I totally enjoyed were weaving (I bought a loom) and knitting (my passion, see fact #1).

7. I collect teapots

I am tagging the following people because I read their blogs and would like to know more about them:

1. Tomme
2. Corinne
3. Chris
4. Anne
5. Soyezforte
6. Wanda
7. Dame Wendy

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Knitting as fast as I can

It's hard to hold knitting needles and a beer glass at the same time. If you are accustomed to seeing photos of my yarn, the newest cast-on item, or a finished object - I guarantee you will be disappointed in this post. Just to clarify, I have new yarn and cast-on objects, but I have not been taking photos of them.

Hubs and I snuck off for a little R & R- without the kids! At 17yrs and 14yrs, we have never left and went on vacation without them unless they were visiting with their biological father, which was not often. We celebrated our monumental birthdays this year - me, 40; him, 50 - by waifing our way through our favorite part of the South.

After nearly missing our flight, we landed in Savannah, GA to pick-up our rental and we were STARVING!!! No time to be fussy so we drove to the historical area and landed at the Moon River Brewing Company. Fortunately, their food was as good as their beer! We were able to visit with friends from my previous workplace and went on a carriage tour through the squares in Savannah.

Our next stop led us to the Isle of Palms, SC for 3 days. It is very near Charleston and we spent most of our time roaming the streets and eating at fabulous restaurants. Neither of us had been to Charleston before and it is one of my favorite places that we've ever visited. The weather was in the mid-80's every day and the flowers were everywhere!
We enjoyed our trip to Magnolia Plantation and spent a lot of time going through the gardens.

During our travels through Charleston, I happened across one of the most fabulous yarn stores I've ever seen - Knit. If you are a knitter and in the area, you MUST visit this store. It alone made me want to relocate! My Hubs had promised to be patient and not rush me. He held to his word and sat patiently in the seating area - with another not-so-patient-husband -and read the paper. I'm telling you, this store was designed with husbands in mind.

Mid-week we packed our sandals and headed to Hilton Head Island, SC - our regular stomping ground. We usually visit SC during the steamy months of July and August. I enjoy the humidity of the summer, but the weather in April was a real treat, too. We walked on the beach a lot and ate at our favorite places. By the second day, we were looking through the local papers for jobs (like always).

By the end of the week, it was time to head back to Savannah for an EXTREMELY early flight home. Our last night in Savannah was much like our first day there. We found The Sixpence Pub!!! We bellied up to the bar for a refreshment, or two...or three...(we were walking, not driving). It was dinner time and the food was delicious! On the way back to our hotel, we ran into Capt'n Morgan and I took his photo!

I'm pretty sure it was him - see the resemblance?

I hated to come home, but there were no viable job leads and a work conversion was in the works. We jumped on our plane and headed back north to Michigan : (

Yarn and knitting? I took loads of yarn and bought a load more at Knit in Charleston. I did knit a little, finished nothing. I'm pretty sure that there will be numerous finished items flying through my blog pages in the upcoming days.