Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mini Vacation

The kids went camping and we took the opportunity to take a few days off ourselves to go to Hammondsport and watch the sun come up over Keuka Lake. We left after church on Sunday morning and arrived in time for the Crafts Fair on the village green. Even though it was hot, hot, hot (in the 90's) we wandered the stalls for a bit and bought this:
a really pretty ceramic cup to hold sponges and that scrubber thing that is always getting misplaced.

We walked around the beach and had dinner at The Village Tavern which was excellent, salmon for me , Maryland Crab cakes for Pat. in the middle of wine country we chose beer! It was hot and we were thirsty. Walked around the village which is cute as a button and got some ice cream at a new place that was advertised as "homemade". When we asked about how it was made, we find out it is actually made in Florida. Huh? So instead of Perry's ice cream available at the really cute 50's Crooked Lake Ice Cream Parlor and enjoying ice cream made from local Upstate New York cows, we were suckered into "foreign", who knows what cows it came from, ice cream.

We lazed around reading and on my part knitting by the water for the rest of the evening. On Monday we went to the Glenn H. Curtiss aviation museum. It was amazing to see all the things this local boy invented and developed, from motorcycles to the first airplanes to land on ships, to the first travel trailers. He is known as "The Father of Naval Aviation".

This is the DH looking at the trailer.
Also a picture of a rebuilt Curtiss "America", the first flying boat that was rebuilt, flown and landed in Keuka Lake last year. We talked to some of the volunteers who put in thousands of hours rebuilding the planes, making them as authentic to the originals as they can. Amazing.

We left for Elmira and had a nice visit with the sister and brother-in-law and dinner at the Olive Garden. We really like to go to one of the local restaurants but being Monday, they were all closed so our only choice was a chain.

Left for home on Tuesday morning. It was nice to get away and just relax. Even though you think you relax at home, there is always something calling you, you are constantly looking at all the projects that need doing.

Sock Journal: I took a plain vanilla sock with me and knit as I travelled. DD#2 saw it and loved the colors, so I will be making these for her. My first gift socks!

Reality Check: Serena's bat and leg warmers are ready to be sent out today. Not much else done from the stash.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Organized Chaos

This is a post I am writing because I have too much yarn!!! Yes I do......
I wanted to get some books during Knit Picks 40% off August book sale, so put a few in my cart and was content with that. As I waited I noticed that the Chinook shawl kits were labeled "Last Chance" which meant they would not be available any more, so into the cart went the purple and the green colorways, with much hand wringing about not getting the neutral. Oh, and I might as well get a hank of the new Stroll hand painted sock yarn in a brown and pink colorway. What harm is one little hank of sock yarn going to do! And they had the new Zephyr acrylic points up on the website so I put a 6, 7 and 8 in my cart along with the perfectly adorable holder. (My DH, ever the total supporter of my knitting obsession, actually asked why I needed more needles). The total blew my mind so out came three of the books and in went the order.

I needed another skein of yarn for Serena's leg warmers as I came up just a teensy bit short so off I went to my LYS and there in the sock corner were all these new colors and yarns for the fall. Had to pick up three new skeins of the On Your Toes sock yarn and a beautiful hand painted yarn in reds and yellows. Then I needed buttons for the eyes on the Fuzzy Mitten Bat that I am making for Serena and happened upon some Red Heart sock yarn (yes Red Heart) with aloe and again beautiful color combinations, two pairs of socks worth. In a matter of two days I had purchased 24 skeins of yarn. When I went to put them away I realized there was no more room in the bins, in the closet, on the floor or in the baskets of my craft room for any of the new stash.

Well, let's get better organized, I said to myself. Yesterday I tidied up the craft room, removing some items I will never get to (old sweaters that I was going to take apart and reuse the yarn). I took all of the orphaned projects that have been stashed in various places around the house and put them all together in a big basket in the craft room. I checked them all to make sure I still felt the love and wanted to finish them. I will bring one of these out as I finish a project.

By my knitting chairs I have the Bat for Serena's birthday that has to be put together, the "Afghan that Will Never Get Done" with 19 more blocks to go, the Lizard ridge afghan that needs to be finished, the Blue cabled cardigan that is going to be my next big project, and the Dinosaur afghan for Chiara that I would like to finish for her birthday. Oh yes, Monkey socks and the vanilla socks out of the lime green and orange Red Heart yarn will be my travel knitting this weekend when we go to Hammondsport for a few days.
This is one half of the closet that has my yarn stored. The other half has bins full of yarn and two containers with enough sock yarn to make (gulp) 40 pairs of socks! OMG!!!
When I saw this, I actually got light headed. If I make nothing but socks, it would take me a year, at least, to make all these socks. Maybe I shouldn't have counted it.
I went on to Ravelry and organized my queue so that I have the next five projects I will tackle at the top. Of course that doesn't include the knitting for the kids birthdays. We have Dante and Nathan in September and Jordan in October, but they should be very quick projects that I already have the yarn for. Oh shoot, Christmas knitting!

So I have to face a hard reality. If I want to get all this knit up I have to stop buying anything new for the next few months (years?) and concentrate on getting a handle on what I have already.
I do go through it periodically and there is nothing in this stash that I don't still love.
One of the phrases that I used to use at work when we were facing a monumental task was:
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
So that's how I will tackle this. Stay focused, stay off of all the yarn and pattern sites, or at least
try to resist temptation, and knit, knit, knit. I'll also use my blog to keep myself on track, I'll call it "Reality Check".
Do you have a passion that sometimes takes over your good sense?
Reality Check:
So for August: Finish the Lizard Ridge Afghan. Finish Serena's Bat. Start the blue cable cardigan and the blue sweater for Little Dante for his birthday. Nathan wants the Fuzzy Mitten Penguin for his birthday and fingerless gloves.
Sock Journal: Serena's leg warmers took over for my sock knitting for the last few days. They actually look really good. I just hope they fit!

Friday, August 7, 2009

In Full Bloom

The weather is finally more summer like and all the rain has made the flowers and vegetables in my garden grow like mad. The butterfly bushes have been very popular with a wide variety of butterflies, more than we have ever seen! The first picture is of a hummingbird moth. We get some every year. The first time we saw them, we thought it was a baby hummingbird, but they let you get really close to them and we could see the differences.

So far this year we have had spinach, lettuce, zucchini, radishes, peppers, tomatoes and yesterday I harvested a whole bunch of beets from our garden! We actually got 1 raspberry from the raspberry bushes with more to come in a few days, I think. Can't wait!

Sock Journal
I finished the gold Columbine socks. Not hard at all and here is what I have learned:
1. I really enjoy knitting socks
2. When you make a mistake and have to rip, it is probably a good idea to tink back rather than ripping out the rows! Small needles and fingering weight yarn and yarn overs that get lost are not a good combination. I kept missing the yarn overs, for some reason (probably not paying close enough attention) on the first leg. Had it almost finished when I realized the count was off. Ripping it back a few rows, I was not able to pick it up without really messing up the yarn (splitting the fiber and getting ugly pulls. So I ripped it back to the cuff and started over.
3. I can see why some people find knitting socks addictive. As I am knitting, I am getting all kinds of ideas on stitch and pattern combinations I can use on sock designs of my own.
4. In a week or less I can complete a pair of socks, if that is the only knitting I am doing or I can keep a pair as the go everywhere portable knitting project.
I am going to try Cookie A's Monkey socks next using Knit Picks Felicity self stripping yarn in the Gelato colorway. I have it sitting on my knitting bag tempting me while I finish up the birthday knitting for DGD#2.