Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Knumbers From a Knitting Knerd

First, a couple of things:

1. I have changed the commenting feature so that you can comment whether you're a blogger or not. I have had a couple people tell me that they cannot sign in or get it to work for whatever reason. I just ask that, if possible, you sign in or at least let me know who you are when you comment. Thanks!

Calvin, you and I could go back and forth all day about this, but you and I both know that even little tiny feet don't freeze in 77 degree weather. Try not to be so dramatic, and have a great George Washington's birthday.*

Joy, happy belated birthday! And congrats on the newcomer.

Brenda, your nerdiness is inspirational. Read on.


Today, I created a spreadsheet documenting the projects that I've started, completed, and failed over the past 17 months since I've started this blog. I was inspired by
this post from January 2006. I discovered some interesting things. Want to know? OF COURSE you do.

Since October 2005, I have started 83 projects. I have finished 51. I am currently at a 61% completion rate.

I plan to finish 12 more. That would put me at a 76% completion rate, except we all know I'll never finish those 12 projects without starting a dozen or so more.

That means I've abandoned 20 projects. Some of them I don't even have the yarn for anymore. That gives me a 24% failure rate. I think that's pretty indicative overall. One fourth of the projects that I begin, I will never complete. Sounds fair.

In 17 months, I have completed 7 pair of adult socks, 7 pair of kid socks, 9 kid sweaters, 3 pair of mittens, 6 hats, 3 scarves/shawls, 9 toys, 3 bags, and 4 snowflakes. All of the projects in the "miscellaneous" category are incomplete.

25 of 83 projects (30%) were originally intended for me. 7 of the 51 completed projects (14%) belong to me. Lots of people who know me have received knitted gifts.

The 12 projects I plan to finish include orange trekking socks that haven't been on the blog yet, railroad rib socks, stripy fuzzy feet, uptown boot socks, raindrop lace socks, rose garden sweater, central park hoodie, fetching wrist warmers, Greek mittens, the print o' the wave shawl, a stuffed rooster, and entrelac bag #2.

NOT included in the spreadsheet are the 10 or 12 new projects that I plan to start in the next couple months or so, including lots more socks, more kid sweaters, and likely a great deal more turtle shells.

Overall, I'm pleased with these results. On average, I'm starting one new project a week and finishing a project every week and a half. That makes me feel a lot more productive than I thought I was. And I honestly don't feel too bad about the 25% failure rate. That's actually better than I expected it to be. It helps me not feel so bad about the lateness of the Valentine's socks.

Which, by the way, should be arriving soon.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Excuses, Excuses

Dear Calvin,

If you read my last post, you know that you have been on my mind a lot lately. I want you to realize that the road to Valentine's socks is paved with good intentions but is also full of distractions.

For example, Saturday morning I had NINE people in sock club! That's a record! I have never had that many sock knitters in sock club at one time. Nicole and Tobie showed off their two-socks-on-two-circulars skills, I taught Bea and Dorothy the long-tail cast on, I helped Michelle get started on her first sock on two circulars, Sherry renewed her love for knitting socks, Karen worked diligently on the second sock of her first pair, I watched Pat's eyes light up as she worked the magic of a heel turn, and Lisa made good progress toward having another toe for me to graft. Phew!

With all of that excitement, I only made minimal progress toward completing your second sock. Your sock is the only one I worked on that morning! Here is what I completed in two hours:

Saturday afternoon, I taught a
Fuzzy Feet class. It seemed only fair that I make a fuzzy foot, too, even though I didn't go strictly by the pattern and opted for a short row heel instead of the heel flap. Andrea and Joan did great, though, and by the time we were finished they were both well on their way to a completed fuzzy foot. I even found out that Joan and I both graduated from the same college, just a few years apart. Small world!

After that class, I went out to dinner with Dani and some of her friends, then stayed to knit at Dani's house. I wanted to finish that first fuzzy foot because it amused me a great deal. Want to see?

Lots of people wanted to know if I was using someone's school colors or if I was a Laker's fan. The truth is, I already had the purple at home, and I thought the yellow would be a fun color to go with it.

Then Sunday, this happened:

Don't ask. I don't even know what hit me. That's not even all of it. Some days I get hit by faulty inspiration that makes me pull out a bunch of yarn and completely disregard everything that's already in progress. It's a sickness.

As far as I know, though, you'll be in California for Valentine's Day anyway, and wouldn't even be home to get the socks if I'd sent them on time. So, how about some George Washington's Birthday socks?

Annie Grook

P.S. Please extend my apologies to your sister... she'll get her socks when you get yours. Love you both!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Three of Four

So. How many days left until Valentine's Day? I just might not make it. However, my first sock on two circulars has been completed (insert applause here). I'm still not sold on the process, since it made me a little crazy to have to slide the stitches from the cord to the needle every time. I have a feeling that any time I saved by only having two joins instead of three was lost in the time it took to slide stitches. Maybe that's a problem with the fixation yarn. I'll do the second sock on two circulars to make sure my gauge stays the same, and next time I'll use a different yarn and see if that makes a difference.

I am the proud new owner of some hand-dyed, hand-spun yarn. Dubbed "rhubarb" by its creator, it is a yummy three-ply wool that varies between fingering and worsted weight. I ADORE it. I have no idea what to make with it though. Any ideas?

Knit Knack received his valentine's shell in plenty of time for any spin-the-bottle parties he might be invited to. He's already clamoring for a St. Paddy's Day shell, with a plaid tam o'shanter to go with it. I may have created a monster. (Bonus points to my MOM who not only took this picture, but e-mailed it to me all by herself! GO MOM!!)

Friday, February 2, 2007

A Long Way For a Fun Game. Oh, And Poetry

Bloggers come up with some crazy insane ideas.

Cara at
January One was talking about the Bridge To Terabithia movie that's coming out this month. It's understandable that some people don't want to see the movie because they are so dedicated to the book. I can understand. I love that book. If you haven't read it yet, go read it. Now. I'm not kidding. I'll wait.

Okay, you're back? Great. My opinion is that even if it's a shoddy movie, it might encourage kids and adults to go read the book when they might not have known about it otherwise. Cara provided a link to the blog of a children's librarian called
A Fuse #8 Production. There's a short bit talking about how the movie might not be as bad as the trailer makes it look. That's good. I think I want to see it.

So I was looking on that librarian's blog (and marveling at all of the different blog genres there must be... if there are children's librarians' blogs then there must be blogs for
oboe players, blogs for bonzai tree growers, blogs for hang gliding enthusiasts... but I digress.), and I happened to glance at her blogroll and saw the title, The Brookeshelf. How could I not check it out?

(Get it? Check it out? Like... at the library?)

I read through some of her posts, and found one called Children's Literature In Your Pants, which basically takes the titles of children's books and adds the phrase "in your pants" at the end. Hilarity ensues. She links to where she got the idea and then provides a few examples in her post. There are a bunch of great comments, too, adding other silly books to the list. My favorite is by Louis Sachar (of course), who wrote: Holes In Your Pants. Muhaha. Follow the links for much snickering.

Since this is a knitting blog (and not a
soap box derby blog), I thought I'd check my knitting shelves for some fun and amusement. How about:

From Jan Messent: Knitted Historical Figures In Your Pants (hey! what are they doing in there?)

From Kath Dalmeny: World of Knitted Toys In Your Pants (it's a zoo in there!)

From Barbara Albright: Knitter's Stash In Your Pants (we all need more places to store the stash.)

From Gisela Klopper: Beautiful Knitting Patterns In Your Pants (who doesn't love pretty knitted pants!)

From Vanessa-Ann: Knitting For The First Time In Your Pants (wait until you're more advanced before you start with the naked knitting.)

From Charlene Schurch: Sensational Knitted Socks In Your Pants (why are they in your pants? they're supposed to go on your feet!)

From Leigh Radford: One Skein In Your Pants (oh go ahead, you know you want to keep the whole stash in there!)

Want to play? Leave me some comments or play on your blog and let me know.


Also, today is the
silent poetry reading day thing. I didn't play last year, but I did want to contribute this year. I'm not entirely sure how much poetry my dad ever wrote (Mom, maybe you can enlighten me?), but there was one poem he wrote that has really stayed with me and greatly influenced my life. Are you ready? Here goes:

Rub a dub dub
Three men in a tub.
Bout time they took a bath.
--Dennis E. Higgins

Thank you. I wish you all the best. Happy Groundhog Day.