Monday, August 11, 2008

It Ain't Easy Bein' Green.....

No it's not easy, but green I am, and not nearly as cute as the googly-eyed little guy in the picture!! I'm sure you've already guessed as much, but ya, I've been hangin' out at the frog pond again. I finally finished one of the two table mats I was working on, and was trying to convince myself it was okay to knit that much only to come up with what seemed to me to be a bunch of holes. Then I started my routine anal inspection of my work, and realized that one end (the top in the picture) was "wider" than the other.Right away I knew why. My gauge was so far off on this pattern that I tried needles all the way from size 4 to size 11. Finally went with a 6, deciding it wasn't so fussy (this is a table mat, after all!!), and I would knit a little loose. Big mistake, that. The project got set aside for several weeks, and of course when I picked it up again, I knit in my "normal" tension. I could have easily blocked the piece into submission, but "I knew", and that would forever drive me crazy. So, a froggin' I did go, and I now have a nicely wound ball of Euroflax linen awaiting some other project. I didn't like the mat well enough to knit it again, or I would.

But wait, there's more. The other table mat I was working on had been left untouched for weeks, so I got that back out and started knitting on it again. Things were going well, and I'd added about six to eight inches of work when I noticed a piece of yarn that wasn't quite where I thought it should be. I had to study it for a while to even determine if it was a mistake or just a piece of yarn that was a bit too loose, but eventually my anality (Yes, that's a word, and if it isn't, it should be) won, and I ripped out everything I'd done. Shoot! Well, I am going to get back to that project because I love the pattern, but for right now, I'm working on something else.

SOCKS!! Yes, socks! Me... trying my hand at socks again. I left town quickly (no time to grab the knitting!) last Wednesday to take my uncle to the doctor, only to find out I would be waiting around while he had surgery on his retina. I was going to hang out at my LYS, but the surgery center likes to have someone there for the patient during the surgery. When they told us that my uncle said, "If I die what difference will it make if she's here or a few blocks down the street?" He cracks me up. Anyway, I couldn't enjoy shopping knowing they wanted me there, so instead I grabbed a hotdog at a gas station and went to the yarn shop just long enough to buy something to work on while I waited. For some reason, socks seemed like the quick, easy answer. I grabbed a hank of Jitterbug yarn I'd been admiring, a pattern for beginner socks, and some size 1 needles. I was set!

And I'm having a blast with them! I've turned the heel, and am well on my way to having a nicely shaped gusset with NO HOLE!! Oh, yeah!!! I think the third time will be the charm for me! My first attempt at socks failed because the yarn I used was limp and droopy, resulting in a sock that was baggy and ill-fitting. Frogged it before I was done and used the yarn for a child's cap. Second attempt was with yarn I'd been given, and it was so ugly I wasn't about to work that hard on socks I wouldn't want to wear anyway, so I dropped the partially knit sock and the rest of the skein right into the garbage! *GASP* I know... somewhere in the world someone could have used that yarn!

Something else I've been playing around with lately is Locker Hooking, which I'd tried out at the fiber festival. It's fun to do, and I've made three pieces and given them all as gifts. The ones in the picture are nine inches square, a nice size for a hot pad or just a little mat to set a candle, lamp, or whatever on. They were a big hit, and now two of my friends want to "get in on the fun" and learn how to Locker Hook.
Today my baby turns 22, so a big "Happy Birthday" to Nathan! He told me only two days ago that he'd love to have a hammock, of all things. Well, I never gave that (goofy) idea a moments thought, and then yesterday I walked into Penneys only to see two big boxes (hammocks, natch!!) with a sign that read 70% off. Well, they'd been $300, and were now $75. But, once the additional 40% off AND my 20% off coupon were factored in, I ended up paying $36 for a $300 hammock. That's 88% off, math fans! So, Mom did okay! Now he tells me he's going to clean up the downstairs so he has a place to set up his super deluxe, brand spankin' new, mammoth birthday hammock. We'll see...


Bubblesknits said...

First off, Happy Birthday Nathan! And what a great buy on the hammock!

Second, I love the looks of those squares at the bottom! How hard is Locker Hooking?

Channon said...

Happy Birthday, Nathan!

Those squares are lovely, but with my wheel on its way, I don't need another hobby!

Rachel said...

Sorry to hear your knitting frustrations, but so cool that you are conquering socks again! I can't wait to see your first finished pair (that you are happy with!).

I don't know anything about Locker Hooking, but I do like the looks of those squares...and I love how the colors come together in them!

Alaina said...

So sorry to hear about Mr. Frog visiting your house, again...hee hee

I am so thrilled that you are giving socks one more try...yeah for you! (and sending good karma your way)

What a great buy on the hammock and Happy Birthday wishes to "Your" Nathan ;)

I too, really like the looks of those squares...come on, give us some details...easy? hard?

Waiting to see pictures.

Holly said...

I am so glad socks are working for you now. Sorry about the vacation at the frog pond.:( That locker hooking sounds pretty interesting. I hope when i go on Vacation that I can get into socks.

Dorothy said...

You hit a great sale too! Hooray!

Sorry about the frog pond! I can't wait to see your socks. I've been knitting the same sock since June. Well, not really. Just looking at it and thinking about knitting it!