Monday, November 1, 2010

Works in progress

Almost too many to count, and probably some I've completely forgotten. Here are the ones I can remember.

I have a beautiful charcoal gray scarf on needles. It's probably going to be a Christmas gift if I can bear to part with it. (and they move Christmas to June) I do lurve me some cashmere! It's a little pattern I made up. I won't claim it as my own, because I'm sure it's been done before. It's too simple NOT to have bee
n done before. If it is, I have no idea what it's called, and I've never seen it written down, but I haven't looked real hard either. Want the pattern? .......... OK

I'll call it
Steve's Completely Original, Never Been Done Before Scarf.

Cast on 38 stitches.
Knit 7 rows
Begin 6 row pattern repeat
1. Knit
2. K4, (P4, K1) six times, K4
3. K4, (P2, K3) six times, K4
K4, (P2, K3) six times, K4
5. K4, (P4, K1) six times, K4
6. Knit
Repeat rows 1 through 6 until scarf is as long as you like it.
Knit 7 rows
Bind off all stitches
simple, huh?

It makes a nice cushy textured pattern. It sort of reminds me of waffles.
(mmmmmmmmmm, waaaaaaffles)

Let's see, what else am I knitting?
I have a super secret project for a very special knitting friend who gave me a TON of blue hand dyed wool yarn quite a while ago. She's getting some of it back after I get it knitted up. More info and photos to follow.

I'm knitting a toe up sock. I haven't turned the heel yet. There are plans in the works to knit a second sock to match the first. I'm using white yarn because it's easier to see, and it was in my stash. I think I may dye them with walnut hulls after I knit them. They may actually become kilt hose, as I have ordered myself a kilt from Alt.Kilt. Check it out. She's got a sweet little operation going, and a
touching story about how she got started.

I'm knitting a top down, shawl collared cardigan for myself. It was going to be my 2010 SAFF Sweater, but that didn't happen. I'm using Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran, which pre-dates Rowan Scottish Tweed Aran, (for those of you keeping track), but it's pretty much the same thing. It's a beautiful shade of blue with purple, (that's right.... purple!) and turquoise slubs. One partial sleeve, One full sleeve, two button bands, and a collar, and I'm done. I'm teaching a top down sweater class this month, so chances are some of it will get done.

I'm working on a beautiful, INCREDIBLY soft cashmere hat for Miss Nancy. She's having chemo, and will soon need something to keep that noggin of hers warm. I'm knitting love and healing thoughts, (and I think maybe some peanut butter cracker crumbs), into every single stitch I make. LOVE YA NANCY!

OK, now I'm tired, and I've thought of about 10 other projects I've started, but not finished, and what am I doing instead of knitting? Blogging! That's OK. If I wasn't doing this, I'd be screwing around on Facebook or Ravelry.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Time to blog again

Yes, it has been a while. That's not an apology, just an observation. I think writing a blog should be fun. I started looking at mine like it was homework. I've never liked homework. Now I'm going to do my darndest to make it fun for me. Hopefully it will be fun for all who read it too.

Lots of things have happened in my life since I last wrote. Probably the biggest thing that has happened is; I decided to come out to my family and friends, and live my life as the gay man that I am. (yes, I know you're all shocked) For too many years I have done what I thought my family, my church, (God), and society as a whole expected me to do. I thought if I acted straight, I would become straight. I thought if I prayed to God, he would make me straight. None of that happened. What I learned was; there is nothing wrong with being who you are. I also learned that living a lie, and trying to be something you're not, creates deep unhappiness. I wish I had come to this conclusion years ago, but I'm learning that all things happen when they should. I still have a lot of things to work through, but luckily I'm surrounded by many supportive and loving family members and friends. I love you all.

I am still working at Cut Flower Wholesale. With the help of a therapist and prescription anti-depressants, I manage to show up to work on time every day and do what is expected of me without killing anyone. Luckily I still have my other job. Teaching at Knitch is my joy and my passion. If you had told me three years ago that I would be teaching people how to knit, I would have said you were crazy. Now I cannot imagine my life without it. I had no idea I would enjoy teaching as much as I do. Apparently I'm quite good at it, (that's what they tell me), and I plan on doing it as long as I can hold a pair of needles in my hands.

Hope you like the new blog design. Think "chocolate covered cherries" - one of my favorite color combinations!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy VD!

As some of you know, my "real" job is in the wholesale floral industry. I've been doing it for 15 years, and have been over it for about the last 6. I just made it through Valentine's Day #15. I wasn't as busy as usual. Typically, when VD falls on a Saturday or Sunday, flower sales are down, and the restaurants seem to do better. I'm sure the present state of the economy didn't help things either. I've been wanting to do something else for several years, but I was making such good money, I really couldn't afford to go somewhere else and make less. Soon I may get my wish, and have to find work somewhere else. I work on commission, and I've had several big clients go out of business in the last few months. Like they say, be careful what you wish for.

And now, on to the knitting!

Socks, socks, socks! I can't get them out of my mind. Once I found a toe up cast on that I like, (Judy Becker's Magic Cast-on), and a heel that I like, (The Fleegle Heel) it's the only thing I want to knit. My Numma Numma Saucy - colorway Famous Chocolate Fondue was originally going to be a scarf. Now it's definitely going to be socks. I keep thinking I need to have more sock yarn in my stash. I mean I only have enough to knit 5 more pairs! My sock yarn sta
sh is totally out of proportion to my regular yarn stash! I just finished my first sock using Blue Moon Fiber's Socks That Rock! LOVE IT! Can't wait to get some more! For those of you that don't know, you can buy it at Knitch. Apparently, we are one of only 11 places worldwide where you can buy it. I hope we're getting more soon. I'm putting my vote in for "Muddy Bottom Breakdown" and "Manly Yes, But I Like It Too". (who names this stuff - hilarious!)

My sweater class starts this week. I've contacted all of my students, and they sound just as excited as I am! We're doing a simple, knit-from-the-top-down raglan, but I'm going to suggest options to make their sweater
uniquely their own. I will finally be knitting a sweater for my son Andrew's. He requested it and picked out a pattern a couple of years ago, and I've had the black yarn in my stash ever since. I thought it would be a good sweater for this class. He is so tall and thin, it should take no time at all.

I need to get the baby blanket started for my niece's third baby. (her 3rd in three years!) She is due in March. We're doing lavender for this one, so I've purchased some lovely acrylic from Hobby Lobby. Can you tell how anxious I am to get it started? I think I'm going to do a round pinwheel blankie this time.

That's all for now folks, but before I go, I just had to share this photo I found on the Internet. Doesn't this just make you want to learn how to crochet?!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

it's a beautiful day

I woke up to blue skies and sunshine today. It was just one of those beautiful north Georgia winter days. There was no annoying alarm clock going off at 4 am. I actually slept 'til 9:00. Got up, had a leisurely shower. Went to Knitch to pick up my paycheck. Had a wonderful lunch with Doug at Everybody's Pizza. I've never been there before, and I'm definitely going back. Doug and I spent about 4 hours at the Peachtree Handspinners Guild meeting. Got to see some folks I haven't seen in a while, and had a great time. I meant to bring my camera, but forgot. (oh well) I came home to find Beth had cooked an extremely tasty chicken curry dish. I got all caught up on my TV shows I missed this past week, while at the same time executed a perfectly turned Fleegle Heel on my Socks that Rock sock. I would be hard pressed to imagine a more perfect day!

I didn't get weighed today. The weight loss is not going so well, and I really just did not want to see any numbers this morning. On a brighter note,
I think I've broken my own record for most blog posts in one month!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

finished socks

Well here they are. My second pair of socks. This pair didn't take nearly as long as the first. They're not very fancy, but I'm not a very fancy guy.

I used Jarbo Garn's Raggi sock yarn, (100g, 150m, 70% superwash wool, and 30% nylon), knitted on US #6 needles, one ball per sock, (size 13 EEE), toe-up, Magic Loop, Judy Becker's Magic cast on, Encroachment Heel, and sewn bind-off.

(wow, that's a mouthfull)

I'm already planning my second pair. I'm using Socks That Rock medium weight, colorway Valkyrie. I'd like to try the "Fleagle Heel" on these, but can't find directions on line anywhere. (Hockeymom........ HELP!!!!!) I think I'll dress these up with some cables too.

Now there seems to be a little problem developing. As you know, I have acquired a wee bit of a yarn stash. Within this stash, there is practically NO sock yarn. As you sock knitters know, you must use sock yarn to knit socks. (don't you?) I could knit other things, but right now, I want to knit socks. I'm really trying to refrain from buying more sock yarn. I do have enough to knit four more pairs, and that should be enough for now, ..............right?

(heaven help me)

And now for the weekly weigh in. I did practically NOTHING as far as diet and exercise go this past week. OK, I did try to get in a little more fiber in my diet, (oatmeal cookies), but that was about it. I now weigh 284.4, so I lost .4 lbs. I'm hoping for bigger numbers next week.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

a trip to the hospital

Last night, about halfway through Lost, my wife started having severe chest pains. By 11 pm we were sitting in the hospital emergengy room. After checking her heart, lungs, gall bladder, and heart again, all systems were clear. Fifteen hours in the emergency room, but it's nice to know she's in nearly perfect health. We still don't have any idea what caused the pains. I have to say that EVERY single person at the Gwinnett Med Center in Lawrenceville was wonderful. The ER seemed to be super busy, but they still took the time to explain everything, and Beth felt really well cared for. If you have to go, (and I hope you don't), I hope your experience is as good as the one we had. The patient is now resting comfortably, propped up in front of the TV, with remote control in hand, and I am attempting to finish a sewn bind off on a toe-up sock. (no, I didn't bring my knitting to the ER..... damn!) Tomorrow it's back to work, and hopefully I'll see some of you knitting at Knitch tomorrow night!

.....and now for a little nap.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

there and back again

Well I'm back from my little business trip to Ft. Lauderdale. It was SO nice there! Daytime, 72 degrees, nights in the 50's. It was a a little cloudy and breezy, but no rain. Yesterday we ate breakfast outside under the palm trees in short sleeve shirts. Today I'm eating hot oatmeal, snuggled warmly inside flannel pj's. It was nice while it lasted.

The flight was OK. I'm actually looking forward to flying again in June. Some of you know I have not flown since 9/11, and swore I would never do it again. I think the only reason I was able to fly now is due in part to the anti-depression/anxiety meds I've been taking for the last year and a half. (ain't chemistry wonderful!) The take off was a little scary, and I have to admit, I was turning a short-row heel in my mind for about the first 10 minutes of the flight, but after that I was OK. It was a little crowded to knit, even though I brought a simple scarf to work on. I also think the boss is a little embarassed that I knit, so I tucked it away for two days, and didn't knit a stitch.

The trade show was fun, and I made a lot of connections with some new tropical plant growers, and got to see some of the folks I'm already buying from. Two days of walking really did a number on my leg, and actually started in the other leg, and a couple of other places I haven't felt the pain before. I know this problem is completely weight related, and only I have the power to fix it. In an effort to be held accountable for this, I've decided to post my weight every week on my blog. I'd like to loose about 40 lbs. before I fly to Colorado in June. (I'd like to do a little hiking while I'm there.) Today I weighed in at a whopping 284.8! (OUCH! wish me luck)

Beth and I are off the the Dekalb Farmer's Market for some fresh and healthy fruits and veggies. Come see me at Knitch tomorrow!