Saturday, February 25, 2006

Rip it out! Do it over! Make it better!

I swear! I can't stop! I finish knitting something. I look at it and I see ways it can, and should be improved. Especially when it is something I am designing and hope to be able to sell.

What do you call that? NO! I am NOT a perfectionist! Really! I'm not! Anyone who could see my house, especially my studio, would know that in an instant.

Sometimes I am sort of embarrassed when someone exclaims over something I've created. But they don't know that that itty bitty stuffed heart somewhere on the quilt covers a booboo, a blood stain, an "oops" in the fabric. It's sort of my signature on any quilt I make. Or that the slipper when folded flat looks fine, except that if you look at the whole thing you see that the toe is off center because my center marker fell off the needle and I put it back in the wrong place. Aaargh!!!

But I do know I can do better. This slipper pattern is just making me a little crazy I guess. Gonna take a break this weekend and get the Round Robin done. I have to mail it by Tuesday and I haven't even pulled out fabrics for it! I know, in my head, what I am going to do but I really shouldn't have waited so long. My bad! Not to mention the deadline for mailing the Civil War bow tie blocks for the TreadleOn exchange is next Friday.

Hello. My name is Gretchen and I am a Procrastinator. Is there a program??? I make these "to do" lists and if I accomplish half of it in a week I'm doing good. I won't even tell you the kind of everyday, normal things I put on my lists. It's shameful.

So, tomorrow I sew. There! I've given myself permission to rip out the slippers tonight before I go to bed. Oooh! I feel better already! Hmmm... blogging is good therapy! :o)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Brief Report

Knitted up the sole of the Men's medium size (11) with the Highland Chunky but it wasn't tight enough for me. "Grin through" in the sole is not a good thing. :o) It would probably be good with a smaller needle and would make a smaller size. Hmmm... gives me ideas! Oh, I forgot to mention that one skein of the Sierra made one slipper, with about 2 yards left over. The Sierra is 110 yards so one skein of Cascade 220, knitting with 2 strands, works just as well.

So I'm going back to the Sierra in a different color for now. I've had one person say they liked the unfolded cuff better because it made the big foot seem more in proportion. And another that liked the turned down cuff better because it looked more slipper-like. I like it both ways but, to me, the turned down one is stuffed to look more like a natural foot.

That's it. Just a short note. Just so y'all know I'm thinkin' of ya. :o)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Well, I finally successfully completed a Men's Large sample slipper. Size 13 is so big! I took 2 pictures. The first one with the cuff not folded and the foot stuffed with several balls of sock yarn. The second is with the cuff folded and the foot shaped with a couple of round little candy cans and one ball of sock yarn. Which one do y'all like?

I guess to me #2 looks more like a normal foot. It's just so huge!

So tonight I've cast on for the Men's medium in a nice heathery blue Highland Chunky from Elann. The green one is in KnitPicks Bulky Sierra. Lovely stuff! The Elann isn't as tightly twisted as the KnitPicks so we shall see how it stands up. I think this would be nice in a patterned yarn too. Have to play with that when there is time.

Been glued to the Olympics. Tonight was the best so far. It was so nice to see the ice dancing with no falls or terrible mistakes. I am really looking forward to the start of figure skating tomorrow.

Well, that all for now. The Men's medium shouldn't take as long as the large because I don't have to rewrite the pattern as I am knitting. (Knock on wood!) Y'all be good now!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Math weary brain

Sorry for the lack of postings lately. Between keeping up with the Olympic schedule and taping all I can, and slaving over the Men's sizes in my slipper pattern I haven't felt very chatty.

I wouldn't say I'm a math whiz but I was a bookkeeper for 35 years. So most math problems in knitting and quilting aren't a big deal. But one of the things I've been wrestling with in the Men's sizes was how much to knit back after a wrap and turn. After going to bed with a math induced headache for a couple of nights I just had to break out the graph paper. Thank goodness it worked!!! Now I can get on with knitting samples for pictures. This poor yarn I've been using for the test knitting has been frogged and re-knitted SO many times it is begging for mercy.

But I am having another little problem that I need to solve. I get a hole wherever I do a wrap and turn. I think it's the wrap that's doing it. Maybe I'll just try it without the wrap and see.

Had a nice Valentine's Day and hope you all did too. Alex gave me a lovely bouquet of flowers, a box of my favorite sugar free pecan turtles, a very sweet card and made steak and mushrooms and asparagus for dinner. I made him a special card and gave him a big box of his favorite cherry cordials. Santa gave him some for Christmas but, um, he didn't get many of them. (Smirk, they were very good!)

Then our nephew Seth came over with a box of cookies, a Bonsai Bear book for Alex (who is a bonsai master) and Wallace & Gromit Curse of the Were Rabbit DVD for me. He is such a sweetie!

I vacuumed my studio today. Maybe that helped the math? Whatever, I am just so relieved to be able to move on! I have to get to work on the Round Robin center and get it on its way. And I have bow tie blocks to sew on my pre 1900 handcrank Singer with Civil War reprduction fabrics. And there is a mystery shawl about to start. And... and... you get the picture. So, maybe tomorrow I'll get around to some pictures. :o)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Happy teeth!

This is just a short little post to wish my friend Lois to GET WELL SOON!!!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

What is a Round Robin?

Cyber twin Laura asked what happens in a Round Robin. There are all different kinds. Quilt centers that are added on to, rows of blocks that are added on to, and it doesn't really have to be a quilt. I could see this working with knitting or crocheting too.

In this Round Robin there are six of us who have made a center for a quilt and sent them to the next person on the list. #1 sends to #2 etc. As of this week we have all recieved another person's center. We each have the rest of the month to add, corners or a border or whatever, to the center and send it to the next person on the list. Each person always mails to the same recipient so that keeps that part simple. Eventually everyone will have worked on every center and will receive their own back with all the additions. A lovely surprise and an experience with neat memories.

One of our participants has made really nice journals for each of us to write in and pass along with each center. So we will not only get back our own quilt but also have the journal too.

I got my first center the other day, a compass rose medallion. Gorgeous! She wants it to end up with the blue on point. Have to do right by it now. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Time Flies!

Good grief! It's nearly Wednesday already! The older I get the faster time goes by. All that humbug about "when you're having fun"? Balderdash!!! It's relativity I tell you! When you get older time speeds up. Doesn't have anything to do with slowing down and having to take naps. NO! It's all a physicist's plot. (grumble, grumble)

So for 2 days I have slaved over writing this slipper pattern, and working out changes for different sizes. And I only took 2 eensy weensy naps. Honest! I even went to the post office today to mail my Round Robin box.

Did you know the post office has ***pretty*** boxes now? Mine has roses all over it! It's gorgeous! And big enough for the pieced center, extra fabric, a few goodies for the participants and room to spare for as the project grows. Very cool I think.

I ran into 2 neighbors while I was at the post office. I love living in a small town. :o) One of them wanted to come home with me to look at my sewing machines again. Oh Lord! All the Christmas stuff has been taken down but the boxes haven't been put back up in the attic yet. So one can barely get in the front door. And, for the same reason, one can hardly get into the parlor where most of the handcrank machines are, which is what she wanted to see. She was polite. I was embarrassed.

On the upside though, Percy didn't run away from this sweet little red haired lady. That's a first! Maybe it was her soft English accent. Or maybe because she really is a short little lady, 4 foot somethig. Poor Percy, everyone is a giant to him.

So, here I am, about to go nighty night. There's supposed to be a big storm coming with lots of rain. I hope so. Good storms always energize me. Tomorrow I'll bake bread! Cinnamon raisin and egg bread. I better get to bed. I'm getting hungry. :o)