Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Figuring out this intarsia thing.....

A good Valentine's Day was had by all here at the Rugg household. Because I have to teach all day Monday, and I mean ALL day, we spread Valentine's Day celebrations out over the weekend. Tom the sax man and I actually went to a movie and dinner on Friday- which is something we haven't pulled off in a long time. The movie was "Sideways" which was as funny as the dickens so I highly recommend it. Dinner was Ruby Tuesday's, which was fine altho nothing to write the blog about. Saturday Maryland beat Duke in overtime, which if you are an ACC basketball fan not residing in the state of North Carolina, was a hugely big deal. Fear the Turtle! D#1 and former roommate Val were able to use my folks' tickets and got to go to the game-- they had a wonderful time (it's always fun when your team wins) and I was almost more excited about them going than the game itself. Sunday we capped the weekend off by going to the MD women's game against Duke. The Terps didn't win, but still a good time w/the kids and my folks-. A good weekend- but not much knitting! I think it's because I'm stuck. I am doing the Weasley sweater and have gotten to the part where the intarsia "R" is commenced. Here is my problem- I am doing the sweater in the round from the top down, and evidently intarsia isn't supposed to be done that way. I. didn't. know. that. This is how I like to do sweaters. So I either have to figure out a way to do this in the round top down, or do it from side to side until the letter is completed, or start over. In the mean time I have also discovered I need some intarsia practice to make my yarn transitions neater. Michelle of "another knitting blog" has a lovely tutorial up just now which I am using as a resource- but it's clear that frogging and swatching are the order of the day. So I figure if I pout about it for another 24 hours, including a other looong day at work tomorrow, I 'll be so glad to be sitting and knitting and watching "Lost" with the fam tomorrow night that swatching and frogging will be tons of fun! Also on tap- one more hat for one more FOD#2- and then I think the earflap helmet hat shop will close for the winter. Now it's time to deliver a forgotten lunch to the high school and commence with errand day. Think spring!

Friday, February 04, 2005

Back on track.....

Not much knitting, but lots of knitting related events in the aftermath of the science fair. We emerged scorched but unbowed from late nights, lots of Excel charts and copious data. I tell you, science fair was harder than my dissertation. Backboards and projects actually get reviewed on February 8th, so after that there is a reprieve, until preparation for senior symposium rears its ugly head in March. Yippee. D#2 and #1son did admirable jobs and I am very proud of them. However, I am very glad that science fair pride is something I only have to experience once a year!
Last weekend a newly knitting friend of D#2 was over to pick out yarn for her own earflap hat (Nature Wool and Red Heart Symphony in lovely rusty orange shades). These two yarns are quite compatible texture wise and make a nice warm hat. (I had previously made one in purple shades of these yarns for D#1's roommate (who has since moved into the sorority house now that they have food) which is quite toasty and warm.) She (FOD#2) also made a visit to my stash and acquired blue and cream worsted to make a striped scarf. So guess what just paid a visit to our computer room! The striped scarf! Around her neck! Most important lesson she learned? What a pain in the ass it is to weave in all the ends. Her knitting innocence has ended. Fortunately I don't think this has slowed her down at all. She said, and I believe I am quoting here "once I get started I just can't stop". Knitting addiction in the young- it's a lovely thing.
In other hat news- took my version of the earflap hat (the proto type in a olivey green manos) to Guild meeting on Wednesday and got some good feedback. This is motivating me to someday actually attempt to write down thepattern and circulate it here and elsewhere. I'd love to put up a picture, still working on that learning curve w/ Picasa, however. I keep telling myself that lots of bloggers do this, so someday I will too. So far I don't think myself is listening.
The best thing about Guild however- my dear GF Kay, who snagged 2 skeins of Fisherman's wool that I hand-dyed w/ Wilton's cake dye in our Chinese gift exchange, brought me a lovely gift which totally surprised me. It's an omschlag- ("wrap around", in German, I think) a warm and wonderful tubular scarf that is evidently knit in a very cool way, which I will someday attempt on my own. The best part was the thoughtfulness, the surprise and the lovely scarf. The second best part was that the yarn actually looked really pretty all knitted up! I am a totally hit or miss type of dyer, so it did give me a good feeling to know that even when I don't know what I'm doing, it all turns out okay once it's knitted into something.
And finally- tried out the fingerless mitt pattern from Wendy Knits that she had posted a couple of weeks ago. I would post a link, but again, don't know how! Anyway, made a pair up in a black-brown color way of Kureyon, which D#2 has claimed for herself. and evidently received orders from several friends for pairs of their own. Whatever would I do without teenagers to knit for? Probably have the time to figure out how to post pictures on this blog.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Science Fair Hell

Well, despite the fact that this weekend was supposed to be all about snowing and knitting and the joys of a well-stocked fridge, it was really all about... Science Fair. And the fun ain't over yet, folks! Because even tho #1 son has his paper finished, there is still a backboard for him, and data analysis and a backboard for daughter #2. These are the trials of the parents who send their children to a science high school. But we walked into it with our eyes open, so the whining is over. And once these are done, we don't have to do science fair again 'til next year!
Actually I did manage to send Daughter #1 off to the dorm with some new thick socks in our family's favorite "joan's socks" pattern, and I'm almost finished another ribbed earflap hat for the former roommate who spent the weekend with us because the sorority house had no food. So there was some knitting done. Mostly, this weekend I've been accumulating patterns. It is amazing to me how many great free patterns are on the web- so much so that I've cut back on the major magazine consumption because many of them feature patterns I don't care for or can't see myself making. I did order "knitting from the top" from Amazon, and according to an email today- it has been shipped! Can't wait to get that in the mail--so many ideas- so little time!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Now we begin, now we start....

Well, as I was writing the title I was thinking that perhaps it could allude to the fact that today was the presidential inauguration and the beginning of W's second term. But really, as that reality causes me great pain, it refers to the fact that this is my first post in my venture into knitting blogdom. It seems, for the most part, like a nice place. The folks I have "met" while reading their blogs (keeping in mind I have never actually met any of them) seem like nice folks. And, I always did have that lock-and- key- you- could- pick- with- a- paper- clip version of a diary under my mattress in junior high. So this just seems to be a natural next step in the spectrum of diary keeping.
My kids (the daughters) have blogs, or journals, or something online. At least I think they do, or perhaps they did. The details are sketchy at best. Their interest has been piqued, however so no doubt once I give them my url they'll be reading this. Girls -if you are out there- don't leave your mom stranded with no comments. Remember the hats I knit you, the mittens, the socks, the Ron Weasley sweater in progress as we speak? Those are worth at least a holler or two.
My other kid (the son) has asked to be in absentia in the blogging universe, i.e. he does not exist. So please ignore the tall good looking blue eyed 15 y.o. who may be appearing in some future photos. He is NOT there and neither are any of the handknits by mom he might be wearing.
So on to knitting content. Yes. Well, there is the Weasley sweater (not a member of the Weasley along but I probably should be) which has been bumped back in the queue by the poncho for my MIL. This is a Christmas gift that now will probably be a Valentine's day arrival. Does it count that I have made a bunch of ear flap hats for teenagers in the meantime? There are the Joan's socks I am finishing to send off w/ D#1 as she goes back to the dorm this weekend. And there is all the new yarn I purchased at Inez's today (and if you live anywhere in Maryland you have probably been to Inez's) for various small projects- including Lamb's Pride bulky for the buttonhole purse nicely spelled out over at Mason-Dixon Knitting. So there is plenty to do, and hopefully alot of snowy downtime to do it in. Also I'm going to work on figuring out how to put up pictures and links. The learning curve could be VERY steep.

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