Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spring Break Knitter's Retreat

What a Knitter Does during a Week off from Her Day Job

 

Thursday – Last Day at Work before Spring Break


 Am exhausted and hyper at the same time, as are my students.  There has not been a pause in constant contact since a day off in January.  Much of our talk the last couple of days has resorted to discussions of good restaurants and cute celebrity guys.   (Males in class, in typical teen boy fashion, are silent during these conversations.)  Rather than risking riot by attempting direct instruction, give students time to independently read novels for an upcoming project  As a testament to their fatigue, students miraculously do an admirable job actually reading silently.

After work, look online for some Louisa Harding Willow Tweed Yarn to make a capelet.  Attempt to buy yarn on Ebay and go through an extensive process that includes uploading a copy of my driver’s license to reactivate PayPal account.  Receive a message that PayPal approval is pending.  Decide to look for yarn elsewhere in meantime.


Ollerbrook and Hawthorne from Louisa Harding's
Little Cake book, available at Knitting Fever. 

Friday


Wake up and set to work knitting a cape made with Debbie Bliss Como and alternate knitting the final sleeve of a cardigan with Noro Aya.  Spin some fiber that has sat long neglected during the weeks that school has been in session. 

This ribbed Como cape should knit up quickly.

Sleeve for cardigan is blocked and seamed.  Pattern for  Beulah Cardigan
is from Knitscene Spring/March 2012 issue.  Knitting Daily devotes
a blog to this magazine.  Click here to see it. 
I've been spinning this fiber forever.

Drag recalcitrant teenage son out of the house.  Drive with him 20 miles to Rainy Day Creations yarn shop in Pineville to buy yarn for a knitalong of the Cable Panel Shawl in the Spring issue of Vogue Knitting (click here for details and information about chance to win free yarn).  Decide to purchase inexpensive yarn, rather than the beautiful skeins for $48.00 apiece from ArtYarns that pattern suggests, but end up walking around store with substitute yarn for shawl and five skeins of Louisa Harding Willow Tweed (what I’d intended to buy on Ebay) in a beautiful dusky-lavender color that is reminiscent of blueberry ice cream.  Stand in store for ages contemplating where I can cut from my non-existent budget to pay for yarn.  Decide that with the price of gas, a 20-mile trip to a yarn shop merits my hefty purchase.  Am digging into my wallet for my debit card when the nice woman behind the register tells me to select a plastic egg from a basket on the counter to see my discount.  Assume egg contains a measly ten percent discount, but am thrilled to open it  up to find a slip of paper with 30% written on it.  Feel justified that drive was worth the effort.

This yarn has a beautiful heathery look.


This is lace-weight yarn, but I needed to buy a DK weight.  The yarn
on the right is from Cascade; the ball on the left is made by
Crystal Palace.  I'll put these aside and use them for a Christmas or
birthday present for someone.   
Return home and wind several skeins of Louisa Harding yarn into balls. Realize that I have brought the wrong weight yarn for shawl knitalong. Have dinner out with two friends and relax. 



 

Saturday


Work on Como capelet and Noro cardigan.  Receive an email message that payment is due for the Louisa Harding yarn “purchased” on Ebay.  Mull over that fact for a while and decide to take action later.  Take my eleven-year-old son to Discovery Place (a museum in Charlotte) for Mummy exhibit.  Drive to an old-timey soda shop called Pike’s afterwards and have tingly, spicy, delicious root beer floats in oversized glasses.  Take a different route home.  Realize that Charlotte Yarns is in strip mall to my left, and hastily jerk the car around and park in front of the store, where door bears a sign stating that shop will be closed at 2:00 on Saturday.  Sigh sadly.  Son expresses his infinite joy and relief that is 4:00.

Here is my younger son who was spared
a trip to another yarn shop.  He is standing
 in front of the Hearst Tower, a beautiful
Art Deco inspired building in Charlotte. 


 Sunday


Rise early and take part in a communion service Anglican priest husband has decided to hold in our living room.  (He is quite a clever man, as this contrivance is one way that he can be certain that his lazy wife and children have some hope of salvation.)  The cat’s active participation in the worship, especially hyper animal’s attacking of hem of husband’s robes during wine pouring, is troubling to him, however. 

Cook a turkey and, with knitting bags in tow, drive with family to mother-in-law’s house in the country.  Certainly boring everyone else present, share project updates and information with my knitter sister-in-law at the table.  After eating lunch, sit and knit in a drowsy turkey-induced stupor.  Return home, still in a stupor, to sit and knit and view movies on the Hallmark Channel.  (In the past would have dismissed these films as sentimental drivel, but are now seen as a welcome respite from working with teenagers all the time.)  Take a break to pay for Ebay yarn.  (Don't want to hurt personal rating.  Might be necessary to use Ebay again sometime.)  Now have yarn to make adorable cardigan in Cake Walk as I’ve added extra skeins to my order.  Return to movies and fall asleep before happy ending.

Will use yarn unwittingly purchased on Ebay to make
this Oaksike cardigan.  This picture and other are from
Knitting Fever's website. 


Monday


Drive to Lowe’s for paving stones to put under listing barbecue grill—which is slowly sinking into the muddy soil in my backyard.  Stop at Michael’s craft store and find clever Brit-inspired charms that include a red phone box and Underground sign.  Decide to buy these to make some stitch markers for my partner in SubwayKnits Downton Abbey swap.  Go to World Market and buy some Lady Grey tea for Downton partner  load up on food at Costco, and return home. 

On the way home, notice that a friend is working on a rental home she owns in my neighborhood.  Stop by and see that her 11-year-old daughter, who is helping clean the house, is either not feeling well or has cunningly contrived a clever scheme to get out of disinfecting and scrubbing the place which the previous tenants and their animals trashed.   The daughter returns to my with me, where I make her a cup of tea with honey and get her started making jewelry while I make stitch markers.  Wave as my 11-year-old son returns home with my husband.  He is oblivious to my guest and to the items spread out on the table in front of us, and quickly retreats upstairs for Lego.  Am once again made aware that being the mother of two boys can be lonely sometimes.   Older son is still ensconced in front of Xbox where he will remain all week, with breaks to lift weights or play basketball with friends. 




These are super easy to make. 

Tuesday


Take boys to dentist and in waiting room make progress on Louisa Harding cape.  Do house chores.  Go to post office and mail Downton Abbey package.  Return home, and collapse into another weary stupor. 

Natalie mitts from Spring/March issue of
Knitscene--made with Malabrigo sock yarn.
I used size one needles, quite a time consuming process, but the results
are well worth the effort. 


 Wednesday


Wrestle with weed whacker in back yard for several hours.  (Husband is experiencing asthma and allergies right now.)  Take a break and go to Cottage Yarn to drop off some stitch markers I made for Michelle, an employee there who generously had given me two skeins of Spud and Chloe yarn to make Spud.  Emerge with adorable Plymouth Yarns kit (on sale) to make item for my expectant niece’s baby.  Have lunch with husband at restaurant.  Do more yard work.  Have an allergy attack.  Clean up and work on Louisa Harding capelet.  Tomorrow I will stay home and knit!

Capelet so far.  I just read instructions in the latest issue of Knit Simple for
 properly slipping stitches.  Apparently I've been doing this task incorrectly,ask
 but will continue to do so for this project to keep the look consistent. 



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