Monday, March 29, 2010

Bo Fiddled While Little Baby Slept...



Got to pay your dues

If you want to sing the blues,

And you know

It don't come easy....

("It Don't Come Easy", Ringo Starr)


Little did I know when I first began this yarn-hog monstrosity called "The Little Red Riding Hoodie" that it would be a garment so fraught with frustrating problems that I would soon find myself shouting to the heavens in my little-used French....

J'ai voulu lancer le chandail entier de la fenĂȘtre, dammit!

Yep. The once-promising Little Red Riding Hoodie is so full of never-ending, tedious, no-solution, time-consuming problems that I have frequently had to resist the urge to chuck the whole maddening thing out the window and purge my memory of the entire ugly incident....

What? The word "dammit" isn't universal? Oh well. French is simply too beautiful of a language to contain such a raw, ugly epithet...

Okay, how about 'dameet'??

Where was I? (Ou etait je?)

Oh yeah--- wanting to throw the Little Red Riding Hoodie out the window...

First on the list of problems is one of the facings I knitted onto a buttonband to stabilize and hide the raw edges of the steek. (I performed the steek sewing by hand, in an interlocking type stitch, since my sewing machine is back in Texas at my mom's house.) Anyway, I completed one buttonband's facing just fine and dandy. But the other side turned out badly because stupid me erred on which stitch-line from which to pick up the facing's stitches--- a disheartening, rookie mistake which caused things to look very sloppy. (And I'm too ashamed of my error to show a picture of it.)

It took me nigh on two durn days to figure out how to fix it all very neatly, both on the outside and also on the inside. (I'm extremely compulsive about my knitted garments having both their outsides AND their insides looking neat as a pin.)

Next on the list of reasons of why I want to throw the whole thing out the window is that line of big sunflowers on the front, which I embellished with duplicate stitching. I love those flowers so much---on the outside, that is....

But the inside went to hell in a handbasket, as you can see below. And that is because I am now left with all those duplicate stitches' yarn ends to somehow weave in neatly. But those ends are in the midst of an area of fair-isle patterns rife with color changes and yarn floats--- a complex maze of a layout which can obscure or block the little stitch loops I need for to weave in those dratted ends.

If not done just right, the weaving in process of said yarn ends could cause the whole area to look unattractive and "lumpy" on the outside of the garment. And not only that, but all those color-changes, yarn floats, and woven-in ends in such a small space could cause the knitted fabric's stitches to separate too much, allowing all of that stuff to show through to the front.....

...hideous possibilities which are causing me much wailing and gnashing of teeth....



Okay, the next problem involves the decorative trims I want to place on certain areas of the hoodie. I've been knitting leaf trims in two "sizes"--- the larger (in worsted weight yarn) for the buttonbands and the smaller (in crochet cotton) for the edge of the sleeves' cuffs. And right off the bat, as you know, I had to re-write the stitch patterning of the leaf trim in order to have mirror-image leaf strands facing each other on the buttonbands---

...a feat which caused me two MORE durn days of wailing and gnashing of teeth....

And although the leaf strands look really nice on all the areas I have planned for them, it totally fatigues me to even PONDER how it's going to take me eleventeen forevers to knit all this damn trim. Hell, by the time I get done with all those leaves I will have knitted a whole damn tree!

And then.....

It's my own damn fault...

I should have known when I saw the brand name on the box of this stupid, witless device.

The problem started when I decided I needed some lengths of i-cord....

I know, I know.....MORE DURN TRIM!!

You see, I plan on using i-cord for the drawstring of the hood. But I have also entertained thoughts of arranging some i-cord on the buttonbands into "frog" closures in case I decide at the last minute not to use the danged leaf trim. And I have also idgitly wondered about maybe using some i-cord as decorative trim elsewhere on the garment....

I just invented a new word! Idgitly!!

Where was I? (Ou etait je?)

Oh yeah, the i-cord issue...

But the question arose....did I learn any lessons about the Bond brand name when I endured a lot of insane hair-pulling struggles through the poor quality of my new Bond "Ultimate Sweater Machine" a couple of months ago?? Noooooooooooo! And thus, I went out and idgitly bought a Bond brand, "Embellish-Knit", crank i-cord maker. And by the picture below, you can see just how well the dumb thing worked.


And dammeet!

(See how it mocks me??)

Anyhoo, back to the store from whence that rude, incompetent device came...

And.... sigh.... I am now faced with another mind-curdling chore--- that of making i-cord the old fashioned way--- by hand, using a simple little knitting knobby...

...a daunting task which also takes eleventeen forevers while causing me much wailing and gnashing of teeth!

But some ill-mannered people in this household couldn't care less about my knitting problems....

I wonder what the hell stupid cats dream about?....



Thursday, March 25, 2010

Was It Lord Byron Who Said "Fools Are My Theme, Let Satire Be My Song"?...




I lost my power in this world,

And the rumors are flying,

So I go insane,

Like I always do....

("Go Insane", Lindsey Buckingham)


Out in the faraway nearby,

Can you hear my call?

Out in the faraway nearby,

I'm breaking down the walls...

("The Faraway Nearby", Cyndi Lauper)

* *

Um....nobody in the household is in a good mood today. The cats are grouchy and I'm in one of my deep, dark moods---those nightmarish moods which are the bane of my existence....

And I'm also discouraged about a lot of things.

Currently it seems like therapists dominate my life, there's too much housework, I'm constantly manipulated by certain idgity cats (who, as you can see by the pictures, are truculent today), and three of Blaine's friends are going to spend the night here Saturday night on their way up north to find work.

It's not that I mind them staying here---hell, I know they're broke and can't afford a hotel. But now I'm selfishly contemplating just how much I don't want to clean the whole upstairs, bathrooms and all, in my current mood.

And on the night the guys will be here, the stupid cats will have to be shut into the basement because the guys are bringing their three feisty dogs---God help me. But I guess if I can live through it, the cats can, too. And I'll put soft blankets down in the basement for them to sleep on.

And what's also making my black mood worse is that instead of using my knitting as a relaxation technique, I'm feeling a bunch of anxiety about this durn, never-ending Little Red Riding Hoodie.

The damn thing has so many details that it's going to take me donkey years to finish it!

I started a sleeve and it fits okay and all, but I have to do a duplicate stitch area around it---and I'm not even sure I like the sleeve yet. Like I said, it fits but hey, I have no qualms at all about frogging it again---but I simply can't make up my mind. Maybe after I do the duplicate stitching on it I'll figure out whether I like it or not.

And speaking of the sleeve, behold the first leaf of the leaf trim for the sleeve above. It's supposed to be a miniaturized version of the worsted weight yarn leaf trim I'm making for the buttonbands and hoodie. I've started this teensy trim on size 0 glove-finger needles, using Aunt Somebody's crochet thread in the correct color (Lydia?)---but GOLLEE MOSES this durn Lilliputian trim is tediously slow work! But I am bound to do it because I love how delicate it looks!

You can see the worsted weight trim in the pic below, and I'm happy with it---especially since it knits quickly. But then....on top of all this tedious work on trims, I bought a knitting nobby to see if I can do the hoodie's tubular drawstring on it instead of performing the double-pointed needle method....

I figure at this rate I'll get finished with this dadgum sweater by the year 2012 which, according to some people, is when the Rapture will happen--- and if the Rapture happened I wouldn't need a Little Red Riding Hoodie cuz I'd be in Heaven and could have anything I want.

(And I'm going to ask for an entire Burberry's wardrobe with a Juicy Couture purse--the pink one with the peace sign on it... and all the doves and mockingbirds nests in my trees that I want...)

And what's worse is that, in the midst of all this flotsam and jetsam of the Little Red Riding Hoodie, I have already been sneakily collecting supplies for my next knitting project---which makes me salivate every time I think of it---but I have promised myself not to start the next project until I finish this current one.

You see, after watching the Winter Olympics and seeing the various teams' gorgeous Olympic sweaters, I have decided to do the Dale of Norway Lillehammer Olympics sweater, along with matching accessories like the socks, mittens, and knapsack. (I even have the authentic "Lillehammer" and "DaleGarn" appliques for the sleeves.)

And I get anxiety thinking about all that because you know me--- I've never followed somebody else's pattern before. (And it's a given that I won't use the traditional color choices---I will use psychedelic combo's of bright colors, even using some yarns that have metallic glitter in them.) And it looks like I'll have to work the darn things on size 1 & 3 needles since I knit loosely and have to go down in needle sizes to get gauge...

So who knows how that'll all turn out.....

Anyway, the female therapist finally came over here yesterday to "get to know me in person" since we had started off on such a bad footing, even with an episode where screamed into the phone at my case manager because I was positive this therapist was a total incompetent. But when she got here to visit me--- Surprise! I liked her! Just goes to show you how easy it is for me to blow things way out of proportion.

(Okay, at least I'm admitting it.)

She's coming back next week with a schedule of various community activities she can take me to (since I don't want to do the swimming thing). And tomorrow my case manager is coming over, too, and I'm hopin that he and I can discuss some other things, like mindfulness classes or other, more serious things Fred has advised.

But for today, I'm in what I halfway call one of my "crazy" periods.

Yeah, you heard me right.

Crazy. And last night I had THAT DREAM again--- that recurring dream which always frightens me to death and, upon waking, sends me into a sad melancholia for the rest of the day.

I wish that dream would go away...but it never does.

You see, the "I Hate Bo" club isn't that far off the mark sometimes when they accuse me of being "certifiably crazy", heh-heh. (But they're wrong about me getting this way due to my so-called "sins". I've been going through this since I was born.)

I get into these horrible black moods.... dark, brooding, melancholy moods....aka crazy.

And when I get like this.....

....then I do like I'm doing today and hide in the house, knitting, wearing iPod earbuds to hear beautiful music--- and I try to comfort myself with the knowledge that my family and Blaine are very protective of me....

...and I just cope as best as I can until the dark clouds pass and the sun returns....

(Right now the iPod is playing "Lawyers in Love" by Jackson Browne. Good song.)



Monday, March 22, 2010

Solving The Knitted Leaf Trim's Directional Dilemma.....

You could have knocked me over with a feather when the weather changed so quickly.

It was the first day of spring. And the day began at a beautiful 67 degrees F, with a nice breeze, and the sun was shining brightly. So Blaine took me yarn shopping. I entered a yarn store as he waited in the truck for me---and when I came out of the store, the temperature had dropped about 10 degrees, the sun was covered in snow clouds, and it had begun misting.

And then it turned into a full-fledged snowstorm later on, eventually dropping about 6" of snow on us. (The picture below is the preliminary event---it got worse later on.)

So I did as I usually do when it snows and worked on my current project---The Little Red Riding Hoodie. Here's a mock-up of a sleeve, a "test sleeve" if you will. (This dang yarn photographs in bright neon, which it's not in real life. It's just a very red red.)

Next, I finished my work on re-writing a knitted leaf edging so that you can knit it facing either direction that you wish. I want leaf strands in both directions for use on the Little Red Riding Hoodie's buttonband area--- and up and over the hood.

I had the knitted leaf edging in my files, handwritten from whichever book I got it from. I've seen it in several knitting stitch books---I think I got it from a Nicky Epstein book or a Barbara Walker book. (LATE NOTE: I got the original pattern out of the Nicky Epstein Knitted Embellishments book.) I also found a similar 18-row pattern used in the directions for a free baby hat pattern (link below) (and the author references the page in "Barbara Walker's "A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns" page 357, where she stated that the leaf edging pattern was obtained) but I've always used the one in the Nicky Epstein book.

And in that baby hat pattern it uses the term "inc" wherever the term "k 1 f & b" is used in the pattern I found and also in the pattern I re-wrote to have the leaves facing the opposite direction. And I didn't use a provisional cast on---I just did a plain cast on.

(Copyright Lauren Eade, Image Francie Owens)

Anyway, in my picture below, the leaf edging on the right is the pattern I always found in many knitting stitch books and patterns.

But the one on the left is the one I re-wrote to face the opposite direction.

And here's my directions for it--- and it was very tricky. Because in the knitting books' pattern, the edging was an 18-row pattern with the last, 18th, row consisting of binding off 5 stitches as one part of the row.

But that could not be done in the exact same way in my re-write, so I had to add an extra row in order to do the bind-off row properly. And then I had to add an extra row so that the pattern would be on the correct side to repeat itself by starting on row 1. So if you're knitting a garment with both patterns, remember that the one I wrote has 2 extra rows, which really isn't that noticeable.

(And, in the below picture, if the first 2 leafs look scraggly, it's because I was writing as I went, and I was perfecting things, leaf by leaf, until I got it just right....)

So here's my rewrite (and it's the leaf edging on the left in the picture): Cast on 8 sts.

1. (Right Side) K2, yo, k1, yo, K5

2. K3, k 1 f & b, P 6 (Important: When doing the wrap for the "knitting into the front and back" of the stitch, wrap the first wrap as if to knit, and then for the 2nd wrap in the front make SURE you wrap from the bottom up)

3. K3, yo, k1, yo, k2, p1, k4

4. K4, K1 f & b, P8

5. K4, yo, k1, yo, k3, p2, k4

6. K5, K1 f & b, p10

7. K5, yo, k1, yo, k4, p3, k4

8. K6, k1 f & b, p12

9. K1, ssk, k7, k2 tog, p4, k4

10. K7, K1 f & b, P 10

11. K1, ssk, k5, k2 tog, p5, k4

12. K5, p1, k2, k1 f & b, p8

13. K1, ssk, k3, k2 tog, p4, k1, p1, k4

14. K5, p1, k3, k1 f & b, p6

15. K1, ssk, k1, k2 tog, p5, k1, p1, k4

16. k5, p1, k4, k1 f & b, p4

17. K1, sl 1, k2 tog, psso, p6, k1, p1, k4

18. K5, p1, k6, p2

19. P2 tog, BO 5 sts, p1, k1, p1, k4

20. k5, p1, k1, p1.

Repeat these 20 rows for pattern.

Meanwhile, it snowed on and on.....



Thursday, March 18, 2010

Update on... Well, A Lot of Things....


Someday little girl,
you'll wonder what life's about,
what others have known,
few battles are won alone...

("True Grit", Glenn Campbell)


I finally cast the Little Red Riding Hoodie's stiches off the knitting needles and it now awaits steeking up the front and down the armholes---and sleeves....and a hood...

(You can click on the picture to make it bigger, to see the details better. That's a big pink candle that's holding the top edge down.)

But I'm in the midst of a terrible quandary about a particular detail I want to add to the cardigan. I want to put some leaf trim up the front, over the hood, and down the other side. The problem is, the leaf pattern is knit in a manner so as to have the leaves facing only one direction.

I want to be able to knit half of the trim with the leaves facing the OTHER direction. Otherwise, the leaves will be in a downward direction on one of the cardigan's sides. I'd rather it to be symmetrical, with 2 rows of leaves facing each other and aiming upwards.

And so, I've been trying to re-write the leaf pattern in order to have the whole thing face the other direction--- an endeavor in which I've been successful......except for the last two dratted rows.

In fact, the last two dratted rows of this 18-row pattern are driving me NERTS, I tell you, plumb NERTS! In fact, trying to get the last 2 rows of this dratted pattern to work out correctly is proving as difficult to achieve as getting a cat to look at me when I'm talking to her...

LATE-BREAKING NEWS BULLETIN: Update on the Leaf Trim! I think I may have done it! After 2 dang days of fussing with this damn leaf trim, I think I just may have written the correct pattern for reversing the direction of the leaves, yeehah! Oh yeah, baby! Graph paper and stubbornness rocks! I now have 2 strands of leaves a-knitting---facing each other, aimed upwards. Hot diggity dog.... (I could go on and on but I won't...)

(Smart ass Blaine said something to the effect of: "It's not as if you solved a problem which plagued ancient man for a millenia---like when they finally invented the wheel..." )

(To which I quickly retorted: "And pray tell, just how do YOU know that ancient man wasn't in DEEP THOUGHT about how to solve the problem of The One-Directional Knitted Leaf Trim?")

Oh, yes--- (speaking of problems), here's an update on the day when I was supposed to meet the female therapist for a swim class at the gym:

That morning I had called her in a panic, stating that I had the last minute jitters and that I could go to the gym and meet her--- but that I knew that under no circumstances would I be able to don a bathing suit and appear half-nekkid in front of 20 or 30 other ladies in that dadblame water-exercise class.

I just knew I wouldn't be able to put myself into what I perceived to be a very vulnerable position.

She said okay and to just to meet her there anyway. She said that, if nothing else, we'd at least take a tour of the gym. So I agreed to meet her at 1:45 pm in the gym's front lobby. And she made me promise not to be late since her schedule is so tight.

I arrived 15 minutes early and perched myself upon a couch in the gym's front lobby.

And she never showed up.

I tried calling the therapist but only got her voice mail. I left 2 voice messages telling her I was in the gym's front lobby. Then, totally freaking out, I called Blaine at 2:25 pm and he told me to "just go home". I could tell he was irked.

Upon arriving home I called my case manager and told him the whole thing. He told me to relax and that "maybe it was just a big mistake".

A little while later, the female therapist called me. And then she actually had the unmitigated GALL to be stern in asking me if I were SURE that I had truly "been there at 1:45 pm". But I vigorously defended myself and insisted that I most certainly WAS there, dammit---15 minutes early, in fact.

After she realized I really had been there, she gave me the following ridiculous cover-her-ass excuse reason for the mishap:

She had gone there..... and had seen ANOTHER patient of hers on the OTHER side of the gym's lobby (maybe 20 feet) and that she had mistakenly thought that it was THAT lady who was me! And that, furthermore, she had taken THAT patient to the swim class!

And then she said that "sometime during the swim class" she realized that the other lady was NOT ME!

Then she began a litany of apologies to which I told her not to worry about it. In fact, she went on and on about it so much that I thought I'd never get her to shut up. In the end, we agreed to try the whole thing over again NEXT MONDAY, same time, same place, same Bat Channel...


The case manager called me later and I told him of the female therapist's bizarre excuse. He was satisfied that I was okay and that we were going to try the whole thing over again next Monday. But then yesterday, at my appointment with Fred, I told him the whole comedy of errors story. He seemed mildly annoyed and asked what the therapist's last name was, as there are two of the same name over at the mobile therapists' department. I don't know her last name.

I also told him that, in all truth, I was somewhat angry with the therapist because I had been an RN for 22 years and had NEVER mistaken one patient for another in my whole entire career. I told him that I always CHECKED their names FIRST OFF. Aren't the mobile therapists supposed to be as diligent? If so, how could this Dumb Dora have taken a completely different patient into the swim class? I don't care that she had never met me in person before---because didn't she even ASK the lady's name? (Because remember, according to her, she had NEVER MET this other patient in person either!)

And also, in keeping with her weird story, if I were a therapist in the middle of a swim class and I suddenly realized that I was missing the correct patient, you can bet your bottom dollar that I would have catapulted myself out of that water like a Kellogg's Pop-Tart and, totally dripping wet, slipped and slid my way to the lobby half-nekkid in my wet bathing suit... to FIND my damn patient!!

I mean, don't you guys think that her verbal phony balogney excuse is a little bizarre? Do you think she conjured the whole thing up out of thin air to cover her ass because she messed up? Or do you think she told the truth, however strange? Because even if she didn't make the story up and she really did take another patient to the swim class--- either way, I think it shows total negligence on her part.

I mean, good God, what a way to operate!

So anyhoo, despite this dodo bird of a therapist, I will keep plugging onwards with this program, hoping for the best. I did mention to her that Fred had told me that the mobile therapist department could hook me up into their other classes at the therapy center. I also told her that I wouldn't mind the treadmill room at the gym since one could put on their iPod and quietly keep to themselves, walking on the treadmill for some good physical exercise. So we'll see what happens.

I wonder if she's going to get in any trouble?

Oh hell, WHERE WAS I?

Oh yeah, back to my updates....

Here's where all my knitting "figuring" gets done---the little side table next to where I sit to knit. Everything I need is there--- pencil and paper to write patterns, cell phone, house phone, knitting supplies, iPod, digital camera and battery charger, you name it. And I was gratified this morning to find my favorite little tube of French hand lotion, some of Roger & Gallet's "Oat Milk".

(I have always been partial to things French....)

As for an update on the rest of things around Maison Bo, as you can see.....

Nothing much has changed in the kitchen....

She's either asleep.....

Or she's awake.....



Sunday, March 14, 2010

Don't Cry For Me, Johnson County....


Yes, the day came.....that dreadful day when I would finally be forced to buy the stuff I need to go with the therapist to the pool tomorrow.....

(Pay no attention to the idgity white cat behind Blaine's shoe....)

And, to make matters worse, I had woken up with the blues this morning, after having spent a dreadful night tossing and turning in bed due to an ongoing nightmare.

After I got out of bed, I dragged mournfully around the house with my cup of coffee, navigating around the cats and Blaine, who were all sitting in the middle of the living room floor with the Sunday paper spread out around them. Finally, I made use of myself and wrote out a shopping list, as we were going shopping for some things we needed later, chief among them the dratted bathing suit, beach towel, and aqua shoes shown above.

To worsen my blues, I heard a familiar sound, a beautiful cooing---a sound I haven't heard since last year---from outside on the front porch---so I went out there with my camera.

And sure enough, when I went to investigate, I found that it was the Mama Dove, returning to her nesting area to build a nest, as she and her husband dove have done for the last 14 years that Blaine and I (or Blaine alone during the years we were apart) have lived in this duplex. She was sitting on the porch railing, looking confused, wondering where it was....

Because....remember the dreadful things which happened last spring? The landlord was going to cut the doves' tree down to make room for "landscaping"? But then after Blaine pleaded with him to wait, the landlord had grudgingly agreed to wait to cut the tree down for the approximate 6 weeks that it would take the two doves, who had already built a nest and had eggs in it, to hatch and raise their baby birdies. Blaine had begged him, knowing that it would break my heart into a zillion pieces if the landlord cut that tree down while it held a precious White-Winged Dove nest with viable baby dove eggs in it.....

So, granted a reprieve for the tree, I spent a joyful spring watching (and photographing) the dove family as the dove eggs hatched. And then I watched as the loving parents helped their baby doves grow up. I was even able to get pictures of the thrilling day when the baby birdies fledged! >

(But remember that damn chipmunk who watched the baby doves fledge while sitting perfectly still close by to the Mama Dove? I still believe that he was the evil one who
snatched the second batch of eggs when Mama Dove built a second nest....)

Anyway, I was lucky enough to watch as the babies floundered around on the porch for awhile, learning to fly, and then fly away to begin their own lives. I know they are now soaring around this neighborhood, their home, creating beauty and cooing bird song wherever they choose to alight....

But today.....true to the landlord's word.....there is now no tree there for Mama Dove to build a nest in. The tree is gone......gone.....cut down and dragged away on a dreadful day. And so, this morning, when I saw Mama Dove looking in vain for her tree, I told her that I was so sorry.... very, very sorry....

So, like I said, my blues got worse.

So we went shopping but the shopping trip didn't do much to help my blues, even though Blaine bought me a very nice knitting book, "Norwegian Handknits" by Sue Flanders and Janine Kosel. He knows that I am fascinated with Norwegian ski sweaters, especially the Dale of Norway ones for the Norwegian ski team.

I've always (and desperately, in fact) wanted to knit one of the Lillehammer Olympic sweaters--- from the Dale of Norway booklet with the sweater patterns for the Lillehammer Olympics--- but alas, I doubt the CIA themselves could find that damn booklet. I've searched and searched throughout the USA and Canada---but it is nowhere to be found.

Add that to my blues....

(I want to see how snowflakes and reindeers look with my choice of color interpretation....)

After we returned from the shopping trip, Blaine began making a loaf of bread in the new bread machine Mother gave him for Christmas. It is a fabulous machine and Blaine makes fabulous breads with it---and here he is, kindly (and proudly) showing us his bread dough.

And then Little Baby perched upon her food dish (as usual) in order to demonstrate to us EXACTLY what it is that she is trying to communicate---which is that she wants tuna, as usual.

Laying in your dish? How could we NOT know what you want, Little Baby?! Duh!

And so, as I sit here with the blues, thinking of the baby dove eggs of last spring, and how that damn chipmunk stole the second set of eggs--- I am writing a Post-It note to remind myself to buy Blaine some of those lovely Cadbury Chocolate Creme Easter Eggs this week...



Thursday, March 11, 2010

Questions for Leonard...


I know I've got therapists to talk to about any problems which might crop up but, in fact, I'm getting kind of sick of talking to my therapists. They always have the answer to everything, and I can never be quite sure whether they're telling me stuff that is strictly for me---of if, by rote, they're simply quoting from the book of "What to Say to Your Stupid Patients When They Say Such-and-Such".

Also, Monday looms---the day when the lady therapist is going to take me to a swimming pool for a water exercise class. I mean, it sounded fun when she described it....but I'm actually dreading it. And I even told her that I'm so shy that, even though it sounded fun, the truth of the matter is that I'm so dreadfully shy in public that I can't hardly bear the thought of going to that dang swimming pool!

But somehow I ended up agreeing to go. How in the hell did that happen? I think she hypnotized me into agreeing to go by quoting out of that damn book, "What to Say To Your Stupid Patients When They Say Such-and-Such".

So, of late, I've been talking to Leonard, our most sensible cat. Don't laugh---I know all of you with cats talk to them as well. (Yes, I know you do it too, heh!)

One of the things I asked Leonard was how long to make the Little Red Riding Hoodie. (You can click on the picture to enlarge it in order to see the details.) Anyway, Leonard recommended a length whereby the flaring out part sits on my lower waist, or a little lower--- which I'm already long-waisted to begin with. His logic is that when I attach the drop-shoulder sleeves, the row of flowers would not be disturbed and end up flowing over my shoulders area in a ruinous, un-flattering manner. (And let me tell you, the flowers and stems look 100% better now that my buddy Cindy set me on the right path for duplicate-stitching, so I don't want to screw things up now.)

So anyway, that sounded like very good advice for the Little Red Riding Hoodie. And after thanking Leonard for his advice (which I know for SURE doesn't come out of that damn book, "What to Say to Your Stupid Patients When They Say Such-and-Such") I have again picked up the garment and am knitting on it until I feel it is the length Leonard advised.

Here's the inside of the "mystery socks" pattern I'm designing. I'm really liking them, but now a difficult part is coming up. I want to do them with a choice of two heel types---and not disturb the color patterns. Leonard said that "frogging is our friend".

And after he said that, a horrible thought crossed my mind.....

You don't think..... you don't think he's quoting from that other book "What to Say to Your Stupid Human Owners Whenever They Say ANYTHING", do you???...



Monday, March 08, 2010

Update on Little Red Riding Hoodie, and 2 Sock pictures


Above is the update on the Little Red Riding Hoodie. I'm currently making stripes of the colors at the top of the garment, because it's a drop-shoulder garment and I want the stripes to be at the top of the sleeves as well. You can click on the pictures in this post to make them bigger in order to look at the detailing.

The pain in the rear part is below----I have to duplicate stitch the middles of every flower since I didn't want to knit with 3 colors in a round. (I will knit with 2 colors per round for fair isle technique but not three or more colors. Whenever I've tried it, it messed with my brain and some projects got hurled into the nearest wall...) I am also having to duplicate stitch the one piddly little top stitch of the dang flowers' stems, too.

And I am totally befuddled as to why my duplicate stitches look like crap. I follow the intructions religiously---but my duplicates do NOT look like what they're supposed to. It irks me no end.

Also, I've designed a couple of socks and just thought I'd stick the picture here. Their patterns are for sale. The sock below is called the "Scarecrow Sock" since it looks like something a female scarecrow would wear. The smocking is easy (knitted smocking is really just a 2x2 ribbing with an added step of wrapping around some stitches regularly) and hugs the leg and foot nicely.

The sock below is the Love Knot Socks. They have a lacy ribbing at the top and there's one cable that goes down the side of the heel.

Here's a closeup of the stitch pattern and ribbing. I don't know why in the heck I knit them in Opal "Clown" because I think it doesn't show off the detailing very well. This pattern is for sale, as well.

And now......back to knitting on the Little Red Riding Hoodie....

P.S. Since writing this post I have gotten some really good advice from my friend Cindy about how to do the duplicate stitch correctly, and so I ripped out the crappy ones shown in the pics above-- and now I'm doing duplicate stitches correctly--Yay!



Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Was That the Big Bad Wolf I Heard? Naaah, it was just Blaine (who sometimes acts like the Big Bad Wolf but let's not go there....)


Once upon a time, there was a crazy little girl traipsing up and down the Yellow Brick Road in Overland Park, Kansas....

The crazy little girl's name was Little Red Riding Hood. One day, Red Riding Hood's mother instructed her to take a basket of goodies to her elderly Grandmother, who lives in the forest called Olathe.

The problem was, the crazy little girl's hoodie had worn itself out to rags and so she decided that she needed a new hoodie. And furthermore, she decided to knit one for herself. So she embarked on the project, a rather bizarre, bright cherry-red garment she called "The Little Red Riding Hoodie".

(You can click on the picture to see it enlarged, with a better view of the details---especially those damn annoying popcorn balls--- and the "clusters", which Red Riding Hood knows are really just small popcorn balls....)

It turned out to be a very frustrating garment to knit. And that is because Red Riding Hood was doing her usual nonsense, which means that she is knitting it by the seat of her pants, designing the pattern as she goes along.

This requires many Post-It notes. And sometimes it requires frogging---MUCH frogging--- which causes many cuss words to be emitted from crazy Little Red Riding Hood. And also, the garment will require a lot of duplicate stitch embroidery to be done at the end.

You see, Little Red Riding Hood has a picture of how she wants the hoodie to turn out in her head----but getting it out of her crazy little brain and down to the actual, in-progress hoodie is not as easy as Red Riding Hood had first thought...

(And she has a totally NEAT idea for the sleeves!! And the edging! And the hood!.....and well, you know.)