Auntie Ann Knits

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Tag, I'm It!

I thought a lot about the 6 Weird Things thing that Angela tagged me with.

If I wrote about the first things I thought of, it would just make me sound really, really irritable, because they all started with "I really hate it when -- ". And I am sort of an irritable person, but mostly I manage to stifle myself when I want to complain about these things because I know that they truly are not big things, not worth causing strife over. (Also, to me these things are not that weird, it's the people doing those things that are weird.) So I have kept most, but not all, of my Weird Things free of "I really hate it when --". Here goes:

1. I get cold very easily. I usually have on about one more layer of clothing than everybody else. I blame my mother, for always making me put on a sweater. However, I also get too warm very easily. In short, there is only a very small temperature range at which I am comfortable.

2. I don't like for the heads of my toothbrush and my DH's toothbrush to touch in the toothbrush holder.

3. I am a real stickler for clean dishes. I don't consider dishes really clean unless they have been washed with soap and hot water. I really hate it when other people just rinse theirs and put them in the drainer.

4. Contrariwise, dust is not such a big deal for me. I have been thinking about dust and clean dishes due to the holiday visit, now over, by my in-laws. My MIL is a stickler for dust, and yet she rinses dishes and puts not-quite-clean dishes in the drainer. With particles of food still on them. This made me nuts. The dust in my house no doubt made her nuts, but in general we were each polite enought to shut up about it. (She asked me whether the glasses on the top shelf were clean, and I said of course, or they wouldn't be in the cupboard. Turns out she was wondering if they were dusty.)

5. Generally, I am simply incapable of napping. Even when really tired. If I manage it, I oversleep and wake up groggy rather than refreshed.

6. I hold grudges. I realize this is not a nice habit, and not something I like about myself, but there it is. I don't mean to say that I don't try to let go of grudges since I know I should, but my limited and sporadic efforts at self-improvement in this respect are so far not very successful.

There it is. I realize most of these things aren't that weird. It's not that there is nothing that weird about me, I'm sure that's not true, but perhaps my self-knowledge has not developed to the point that I can easily see the weird things about me.

I took pix of my Xmas knits (yay! all were finished in time!), and hope to post them soon. Some were received ecstatically, other recipients were ho-hum. Unless I get gushing thank-you notes from the ho-hum recipients, I'm going to be pretty ho-hum about making future hand-knits for them.

We're going up to the mountains this weekend, hence the new avatar, and I will bring my new iPod shuffle (my first iPod -- aww), which is my new favorite knitting accessory, loaded with an entire 12-disc audio book (a mystery called "Playing with Fire"), three episodes of Cast-on, an episode of Wait Wait . . . Don't Tell Me, and an episode of Coffee Break Spanish (this last I never heard of before, I just discovered it on the NPR website). Not that I will be able to listen to all this in this single trip, I just wanted to see how much a gig really is. What's that? Oh, most people use them for music?? Hmmm, maybe that's 7 weird things about me.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Picture in your Mind

I have no pics uploaded today, so I am going to ask you to imagine this in your mind's eye --

me, sitting in my home office working away in my jammies (one of the great perks of working at home), wearing the hat I'm knitting for my Dad. Yes, knitting. As in, I've got about 4" of the body done and I was trying to determine if it is so itchy that it will need a lining.

Preliminary determination -- yes, it needs a lining. Fortunately, there are handy directions here. Thanks, Norma!

The hat is an Odessa, sans beads, knit in the same grey yarn that I used for my uncle's Klein bottle hat. I think the yarn is a wool/mohair blend, hence the itchies.

This hat is going quickly, and I am hoping that this weekend I will finish this and also the finishing on the Best Friend bag. Which I blocked in September but have not yet sewn up. Bad knitter.

Once those items are done, all of the knitted Xmas gifts that need shipping will be ready to ship! Yay!

Then it will be time to schedule a free pick-up by the Post Office. I just discovered this service, and my one use of it went great. You do need a postal scale, and to pre-print your postage and label using Click-n-Ship. It sure beats waiting in line at the PO, especially at this time of year.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Darn you, sock yarn ball-ettes!

In my last post I showed you a sock-in-progress, attached to 2 tiny sock yarn ball-ettes and the skein. A bit crazy-making (like I need any help), but I dealt with that, finished the first sock, and figured after that the second sock would be a piece of cake.

Wrong! About 2/3 of the way down the leg, the self-striping started doing something a little wonky. There wasn't a color change where there ought to have been one, except for one pathetic little half-round, which wasn't even the next color in the pattern. And then -- a knot. Well, I'm used to knots in this yarn by now, right? Somewhere I read that 3 knots in a skein is considered "acceptable" by the yarn industry. Huh.

And then -- the yarn after the knot had the color sequence reversed. Oh, the outrage! How could they do this to me?

Annoying as this was, the fix was not too bad -- wind the skein into a center-pull ball, but start with the yarn from the outside of the ball (and use the center-pull end for the heel flap, to try to maintain the color sequence on the instep and front of leg). So far, so good -- I've done the heel and gusset reductions on sock 2, and I'm very pleased that the stripes on the heel flap and the rest of it match reasonably well on both socks. Not perfectly, because although I'm compulsive I'm also too cheap and lazy to wind off too much yarn to match stripes.

No pix today -- it's raining. Hopefully I will finish sock 2 soon, and then I'll get some pix.

At least I know that there are no more knots in this skein.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Sock Ball-ettes

Two Left Needles was lamenting at the very end of her post about the interrupted striping on her "Pink Panther" sock. I have a similar problem with striping on socks, and I usually join a separate bit of yarn for the short-row section or for the heel flap and heel turn, in either case resuming the main yarn when I resume knitting around all stitches.

This results in two joins. Can't be helped. I knit in the ends using a technique I learned from Nona.

I was merrily doing this on a sock for Matt, a member of my family. There were two knots in the skein that occurred within the heel flap and heel turn. Four joins, ends knitted in. No biggie.

Then I decided that the foot was coming out too large, and that I wanted to continue the ribbing pattern from the leg down onto the instep to help with any fit issues. Ri-i-ip! Back to the end of the ribbing, right before the heel flap.

As I ripped, I made a tiny center-pull ball from each yarn section. I still wanted to keep the striping undisturbed, so I knotted them together in order. Leaving me with 4 tiny center-pull balls attached to the skein and to my knitting, all in a row. Hee. I didn't have the presence of mind to take a pic then, but now I am down to two tiny balls and the skein, and here they are:

Matt's sock ballettes

It doesn't really make for a very portable sock project, but soon I will be back to the main skein and all will be well. I wasn't quite determined enough to re-adjust where the stripe sequence fell when I re-commenced knitting, so one stripe has fallen off from the instep. Cry me a river.

Here is the sock heel:
Matt's sock heel 1

In my original plan for world dominance, the pale orange at the top of the heel flap would have extended around the instep, but I don't think it is that big a deal, now. At least there are no teeny-tiny stripes mixed in with the otherwise fairly uniform stripes.

I still haven't figured out exactly how to handle this with the second sock -- to match, or make a fraternal sock but with uninterrupted striping? We shall see.