Sweaters Galore

Otto was kind enough to let me post his picture in one of his sweaters.

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Both sweaters are from a book,

    Knits Men Want

by Bruce Weinstein.

It’s a great book for KISS. (Keep it simple for stupid). He’s broken down his patterns to fit multiple gauges and sizes. This book also explains why knitting an angora, over the top, cabled sweater, may not be the thing your hubby wants for Christmas. Or Ever.

The multiple gauge break down is great for machine or hand knitting. And, Otto agreed with the principles given in the book. There wasn’t a project in there that he didn’t like 🙂

Holidays are here… Watch Out For Flying Needles!

Just taking a quick breather here. Thanksgiving sales led to T-day knitting. Otto has two new sweaters to look forward to, I’ve got 5 planned for the boys. Somewhere in there, I want to do a wine bottle jacket and Christmas ornaments. I knit up a quick fisherman’s rib scarf out of some Deborah Norville stash yarn. AND, I’m still knitting up some ruffle scarves. Yup, them needles are flying! Don’t forget to duck.

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Whatcha Been Doin?

I noticed that I haven’t been posting much, so I wondered, what have I been up to?

My husband has been gone for most of the last two weeks. That means I’ve been cooking and cleaning and child rearing on my own.

On top of that, my parents are coming to visit! Yay! Besides the extra cleaning required, it means we will be having good conversations, spoiled grandkids, shopping, and all the good things that come with Mom and Dad being near. Oh alright, we’ll probably have a spat or two, but Mom and I’ve mellowed over the years.

If you check out my “On the Needles” section, you’ll see several of the projects I’ve finished or am in the process of finishing.

Hubby’s Dr. Who type scarf- this scarf has lots of color and will end up being about 15′ when finished. It has taken 2 weeks to hand knit. It was supposed to be in Garter Rib, but that little note was in fine print on the page I wasn’t looking at, hence the reason that it is in garter stitch.
Garter stitch is when you only knit back and forth. Garter rib is a pattern of knit 2, purl 1; or some variation on the first row, with the second row being knit only. Little detail, big difference in appearance.

Ruffled scarves- ruffled lacy scarves are all the rage. They are quick knit or crochet scarves that look tricky, but arent. So grab a skein of Starabella or Red Heart Sashay, spread the lace out, spear through a few of the top holes (with the glittery thread at the bottom), and knit. I’ve knit up 6 or 7 of these, sold one, and need to sew up the lace ends on the rest.

Mom’s wrap – I’ve been working on this one off snd on since July. It usually depends on whether or not the kids were playing on my ipod, which had my row counter on it. Arrowhead Poncho this is the pattern I used. I widened it and made one side much longer to accomodate a wrap effect. When I give it to Mom, I’ll take pic, and you’ll see why that was necessary. I’m a short 5’4″, but my mother is 5’10”.
I also made two others of these as gifts for my mother-in-law and a friend. It’s a terrific pattern.

Aside from all that hand knitting, I’ve been working on fixing up some machines. Right now, I’m cleaning a Singer 360. This along with the main carriage and lace carriage, is my Christmas gift from my husband. I’m getting it clean so that I can repair the Studio 700 I bought for $25 +S&H, and my 322 that has a bent bed. Hubby thinks he might be able to get it straight enough to make the right end more useable.

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I’ve been knitting socks up on the left side of the 322, but for sweaters, I need more room. As soon as the 360 is cleaned, I’ll swap out the 322 so that it can be repaired.

The 700 is considered one of the best models for its punchcard and knit radar 7. Both of which have issues. I have a parts machine that I picked up to help fix it, but I don’t have enough room! We’ll need the kicthen table when company comes. Hubby and I also had to fix up the 700’s carriage, as the main drum on one side was obliterated due to poor packaging.

I’m also trying to get a craft circle going on Thursday mornings, and teaching techniques to a friend. I’m hoping to start teaching classes as soon as my house gets in order. We’re still working to get the garage cleaned up, and several friends have been kind enough to move and need moving boxes :).

It’s been busy, and will continue to be! I keep having to push back scheduling classes. The Navy has finally started a Respite Care program, and hopefully soon, I’ll have someone to watch the boys while I teach in the evenings, if hubby is gone.

Housewives Sit On The Couch and Eat Bon Bons

A few years back, while I was busy making a career for myself in the Air Force, I saw a large number of fat, lazy, living off their husband housewives. That was my opinion, solidified by the complaints of my coworkers, their husbands.

7 years, one early, unexpected discharge later. My opinion has changed. I never planned on being a stay at home mom. I planned on finishing 9 more years. I did have a few women friends who weren’t the slatternly housewifely types. My friend, Michele, was the most notable. Her house is always clean, if not picked up. Her boys participate in sports and do so many fun things my head spins. I respect her for being the hang in there, can do anything mom that I would like to be. Of course, she made it look easy. Why couldn’t all moms be like her?

My twins appeared unexpectedly two months early. We spent 2 months in the NICU, and I got discharged from the Air Force to stay home and take care of two sick babies. I was given strict instructions to keep them home, in a clean environment for the next 9 months. I strove to keep a clean house. I knew that somewhere in between the feedings, the cloth diaper laundry, my 6 yo’s homework, cooking dinner, nap time, baths, bed time, and chatting with my hubby, I should be able to clean. Riggggghhhhht.

6 years later, my husband cooks dinner. My 12 yo has chores and does his own homework. I can manage the laundry with the help of all my boys. We all clean the house for 30 minutes everyday. I do heavy cleaning when I get the chance. The twins do their homework at 3, with my help. My hubby usually does the dishes. My house still isn’t perfect. I don’t watch daytime tv. I watch the other moms volunteering at the school, and think if I only had more time…

I’ve learned why there are so many fat housewives, because now, I’m one of them. We get our workouts when we can, eat our meals when we can, and rest when we can. Its not a healthy way of life, unless you make a concerted effort to take care of yourself. I’m still working on that. Michele and the other terrific moms I’ve gotten to know, all struggle with this.

It was easier in the Air Force. I had a job, I had friends. I got to talk to adults all day. I’d come home and help my only son do his homework, fix dinner and then watch tv with him. He and I could go shopping, go to a movie, go for a walk. I worked out three times a week, on the clock. I didn’t know just how good I had it 🙂 I do now. I also know that I’m a heck of a lot less judgemental since I took off my combat boots for the last time.