Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sheep Shoes and Shower Gifts

Are these cool or what? I'm a Birkenstock girl. I love my Birks! They're great for wearing knit socks. When I saw these I wanted them in the worst way. What fiber fanatic wouldn't? But think about it. How often would I wear a pair of red shoes with a cartoon sheep on them, whose right doesn't match its left? The style, Boston, isn't one of my favorites. I prefer open toes, sandals. I already have too many Birks. Other than Stitches East and MD Sheep and Wool Festival, where would I wear them? I needed rationalization. Well, I could wear them yarn shopping, but I do most of that online these days. I could wear them to sock machine meet ups, but how often do those occur. Then it got near Christmas and I found them new on eBay for "Best Offer." I was a goner. A Christmas present from me to me. That always works as a rationalizer. It would be like buying myself an ugly tie.

They still look new because they are. I haven't worn them yet, although I even have a red shoulder bag to complete the look and have attended two knitting events.
I didn't think to wear them! Oh well, any day now.

My baby shower knitting has been nonexistent for days now. I'm not sure I'm crazy about the Bernat Cottontots. Although I've been careful with it, working with a lap protector, the beginning is starting to look worn, which makes me wonder how it will wash and hold up for a baby. I now wish I had ordered Sugar 'n Creme weeks ago. I knew I wasn't satisfied and a week ago I did the next best thing, ordered a great gift from the baby register. Now any knitted thing I give, whether meeting my high standards or not, will just be icing on the baby shower cake.

Last night I was looking for a recent Knit Picks catalog to see what yarn they might have suitable for baby things. I couldn't find the latest (because it was right next to me! forest/trees syndrome) and the old ones I looked through left me clueless. Today I received the new Knit Picks catalog and guess what is featured. Yep, you guessed it, BABY THINGS!!! Is that a sign or what? This catalog was written for me! The two biggest spreads are on baby things and socks. Can you believe it?!!!

I will complete the kimono in Bernat Cottontots and make my final determination on the yarn then. My decluttering instructions do not allow me to bring anything else in the house until something leaves so Peaches & Creme can not come here . . . yet. I have four pairs of knitted socks almost out the door.

Bona Fide Knitter

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tax Time = Mindless Knitting

It's that time again. Being in decluttering mode, I decided to get the three tax returns I have to prepare every year done and over with. And I did. Today. That way I could file the records and go on with my life. Unfortunately there is the signing and copies and mailing to be accomplished, but the worst is over.

I've been in a blue funk for a few days and mindless knitting seems to be all I can accomplish. The Abundance Afghan is enjoying the resulting growth spurt.

I have four pairs of sock machine socks needing Kitchenering. (I just love making up words with the Kitchener root!) Since they are machine socks with 60 stitches, that means I have 30 + 30 stitches to Kitchener. My attention span can't handle that during American Idol. Maybe tomorrow evening during Survivor.

I am reading a wonderful book that is fitting right in with my mood, The Knitting Circle, by Ann Hood.

Okay so it's another book about how knitting can help you out of a bad place, save your sanity, bring quietude where there is angst. We know that, right? However, the story has more depth than the Blossom Street tales, in my humble opinion, or maybe it's just the right story for me at the right time. Mothers, daughters, husbands, and others. Work, home, Providence, RI. It's all there.

Back to mindless . . . knitting.

Bona Fide Knitter

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Cold Weather, Warm Socks

Baby, it's cold outside! I keep putting off the many errands I have. All I want to do is stay indoors warm and comfy in my flannel PJs and knit nice warm socks. I have the Auto Knitter purring with only an occasional cough from a hair ball. I give it a good drink of machine oil and the socks crank out without a hitch . . . almost . . . knock on wood.

Antique sock machines like things a certain way, at least my Auto Knitter does. I have an electric cone winder because the AK likes the yarn to flow smoothly from a cone. Yarn from a center-pull ball just won't do. Yesterday I wound many center pull balls onto cones. And I'll tell you this, a lot of those balls have little hitches in the center. You don't notice it so much when knitting by hand, but any machine will let you know in a hurry! And don't you just hate it when you can't find the end down in the ball? What's up with that? Sometimes it's as easy as pie and sometimes you get a big wad of tangled yarn from the center without an end in sight. I hate when that happens!

I think tonight will be Kitchener time. What do you think?

Maybe I'll add a few more to the pile before tonight, maybe even some knee socks. You can do that, knit a few pairs of socks a day, with a sock machine.

Bona Fide Knitter keeping warm

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Sock It to Me

I'm sick of self'-striping yarn for socks. There! I've said it. Yes, indeedy, I'm ready for some tweeds and some solids. Whatever happened to solids? Handpaints, stripetity-stripes! Give me some subtle tweeds, some handpainted solids with subtle variegation. Do I have to dye my own?!!!
Okay, with that little rant off my chest I feel better. However, I am not feeling so good when I look at these socks that don't rock. The yarn, Socks That Rock from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, is 100% superwash merino feels good and strong. The colorway Yosemite, is not my cup of tea.

This sock-and-a-half is suffering from quite a few maladies, the first of which is that my Auto Knitter sock machine was trying to be boss again and you can see the evidence in the ribbing of the top sock. Secondly the color, which looks better in the picture(less bright) than it does for real, is more suitable for Wicked Witch socks sticking out from under a house in Oz. And it looked so good in hank form! (Pay no attention to the neon orange. That's just the waste yarn-- starting and ending yarn.) I didn't complete either sock. They are my take on swatching. On the sock machine I make an actual sock as a swatch. What the H, one sock takes only half an hour! So I ended up with dropped-stitched, ugly sock and part of sock. Today I will frog them back to a cone then wind them into a ball for some other use. Maybe a hand knit doll sweater would do the colors justice. Or maybe hand knit socks in a pattern would do the trick.

Below are some socks made on another of my sock machines, the Legare 400.

L - R: (1) 1x1 ribbed, fold-down cuff, stockinette leg and foot; (2) 1x1 ribbed cuff, 3x1 ribbed leg and instep; (3) 1x1 cuff, 3x1 leg, stockinette foot

In contrast here are some lighter colors.

The center pair was knit on the Legare 400 circular sock machine. The others are hand knit. This is as much as I know about the yarns: L - R (1) Trekking; (2) Handpaint from an eBay seller (3) Opal Petticoat. The three heels are different.

Heels: L - R (1) machine knit short row; (2) hand knit Dutch heel with Eye of Partridge flap; (3) hand knit Dutch heel with normal k1, sl 1 flap

And if you're tired of socks, here are gauntlets from Sally Melville's The Purl Stitch hand knit shorter to accommodate the amount of Koigu in my stash.

That's what I'm talking about! I love Koigu. Not stripes, not tweed, just right.

Bona Fide Knitter

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Valentine Surprise!

Happy Valentine's Day

Love Bite #14 (the last one!) - Love is friendship

as proven by this snapshot of my friend, The Scarlet Knitter, and me outside the American Girl Place in New York City. She is my knitting guru of the Three Project Rule. This Valentine Surprise is for her.
Quite a few years ago, (the year 2000 give or take) I received a surprise in the mail. It was during the time I decided to step gently back into knitting by knitting doll clothes. My friend sent me Holiday Wear, Knits for Dolls and Children, by Judith Shangold. I chose Valentine's Day because it was the next holiday. I immediately ordered Plymouth Encore D.K. yarn from Patternworks and went to work. Last night, February 13, 2007, I finished. Another UFO bites the dust!

When I tried the sweater on my fit model, American Girl Addy, it was way too big! So Cloudland Ida Mae Humphrey jumped in and saved the day.

Actually Ida Mae is a taller doll with very long arms and was able to wear it very well even though her torso is rather narrow.

So what happened to gauge? I was sure I had it spot on at the time. What happened in blocking? What happened in general? I knitted all the pieces right away. I, in my infinite lack of wisdom, decided the sweater was very short and wide so I added some rows for length. Not a problem . . . until I was just about out of red yarn for the button bands. I ordered more. So there were the pieces all knitted, just sort of hanging around, for years. Early last February I decided to surprise my friend with pictures of the finished project on Valentine's Day. Back in the beginning I had knitted only one collar piece. It was such a challenge to my memory I hadn't done the second piece. Last year it was a challenge to get it to come out like the first piece. I was on my last try before doing both pieces over again when I decided enough is enough.

I blocked the sweater, and blocked it, and blocked it . . . until this January! What can I tell you? Finishing is not my strong suit. However, now that I have been declared a BFK (by my other knitting guru), I knew I could get it done for this Valentine's Day. And I did!

You will notice there are no pictures of the inside. I would not reveal to the world my sorry first attempt at intarsia. The floats are long enough to sail to China. I know better now. As for the knitting, the year of being pinned to the blocking board, another steaming and drying, manipulating stitches with my fingernail, nothing could make the knitting beautiful. It looks so amateurish to what I do now. Thank God I improved!

Anyway, Laura, this one's for you, my friend.

Bona Fide Knitter

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

It Ain't Over 'Til It's Finished

Love Bite #13 - Unlucky in love? Try sticking with 'like' longer.

Today's the day I finish getting that Valentine surprise ready for unveiling tomorrow. I love the last minute. I need that push.

During the Decluttering of the Century (DOTC) I have unearthed some UFOs never mentioned here and which will remain nameless a little while longer. Suffice it to say the 'F' in UFO is a double threat for me. My objects sometimes get finished except the finishing, if you know what I mean. What I mean is, I can get the knitting done to perfection, but the sewing together leaves a lot to be desired, if I ever attempt it at all. That's another reason to love knitting socks. When they're done, they're done. Well, except for weaving the toe together. I have become a Kitchenerer Extraordinaire through socks knit by hand and especially those knit by machine which can have from 54 to 100 stitches to join together.

I guess I could learn to finish sweaters just as well given the right instructions and practice. I guess I have to make more sweaters and less side-to-side no-sewing-together-necessary garments. I'm already planning to take only finishing classes this year at Stitches East.

Bona Fide Knitter

Monday, February 12, 2007

Auto Knitter 2, Bona Fide Knitter 1!

Love Bite #12 - Love can be like chocolate: semi sweet, bittersweet, dark.

Yaaaay! After numerous attempts and two days I have knit a pair of Opal socks on my Auto Knitter Sock Machine. I had to use a lot of weight, five weights on the stem. I can get no tighter gauge than nine rounds per inch. The fabric is still rather thin, but they are socks, perfect in stitches, perfect in size. They were made for a man. The yarn is Opal (75% wool/25% nylon), Shadows, Color 1282.

Since I couldn't get the gauge as tight as I wanted I thought the machine would like some slightly heavier fingering yarn. Not to be. It threw it up. I hate when that happens! I was using Silja, an inexpensive sock yarn, 80% wool, 20% nylon. You can see in the picture below where the stitches in the ribbing and the leg were happening hit or miss. I aborted the mission.

Although the fabric density is good, Silja does not feel good. It's harsh to the hand. Maybe it softens up with washing. Otherwise I think Silja will not be one of my favorites for sock knitting. I will try some other sock yarns of varying degrees of thickness. (All sock yarns are not created equal.) Maybe Lorna's Laces or some Merino like Koigu will be fluffier than Opal and softer than Silja and be just the diet this machine likes. There must be some yarn in my stash that will give me the density I want using this machine. I will not be defeated!

Bona Fide Knitter

Sunday, February 11, 2007

My Auto Knitter Sock Machine

Love Bite #11 - You can love a place. I love Cape Cod.

Thank you, Dorisanne, for the vintage postcard of Sea Street Beach in Hyannis Port, Cape Cod, MA.

My Auto Knitter sock machine is the bane of my existence. That machine refuses to knit at the gauge I want. It refuses to make socks in the fabric density that I prefer. It gives me loosey-goosey fabric that will wear out the first time the socks are put on feet and walked in shoes. This machine has to go!

I try to like it. It was my first. I've sent it to "The Doctor" and he made adjustments, added new bits and pieces (washers, heel spring) and aaaack! it still throws up when I get the tension where I want it. I should have spent yesterday afternoon decluttering instead of trying to make that monster do my bidding. At least I'd have something more to show for it today than a see-through half a sock. Or I could have worked on some handknitting. Something! Anything!

See what I mean? See through!

There is a new machine on the market, the New Zealand Auto Knitter (NZAK). I gotta get me one of those! I wonder would Jackie take a trade in? I know I could get the perfect 1 x 1 ribbing, 60 stitch stockinette using my favorite yarns (Opal, Regia, Lorna's Laces) from one of those. That's it! I'm ordering one this year during the CSMSA Conference in July. You heard it here first folks! And I'm getting a stand too!!!

Bona Fide Knitter

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Knit One, Declutter Two

Love Bite #10 - When the love bug bites really think about the particular bug before you bite back. It might be a better idea to use calamine lotion and get rid of the itch.

I left four bags of clothing and accessories and a new microwave oven in its original box on the porch for the charity truck to pick up yesterday. I was so relieved to see it all gone when I got home in the late afternoon. Yesssss! Today on to the next step in the former guest room. Sadly there was so much in there I could not get to it all. That is, I could not reach it! Now that I've gotten rid of so much I can put the rest in piles to discard, bag for next pick up or put away. I'll be able to walk all the way around the bed any day now. I'm feeling lighter already.

In the room in which I blog, an office, sewing room, doll room among its many uses, I have allowed the paperwork of three households to take over. Every inch of space on every surface, including the floor, is covered. Today I take Before pictures because no one will believe it when I get to After. Don't expect to see the Before pictures here. I'd be too embarrassed. Fodder for the expose' mill I am not. Suffice it to say: (1) it's a small room approximately 8' x 12' with a window and a closet (2) the equipment and supplies for all its uses are contained within (3) a chest of drawers once used for organization fell apart and the drawers are on top of the three households of papers, their contents sliding out and downhill. Yes, there are hills and valleys! I plan to spend a week on just this room alone. But remember, I'm a retiree. I 'break' for knitting and quit at lunchtime. However, I do start very early.

Knitting Knote: The Valentine surprise is almost ready. The baby kimono and Abundance Afghan are no farther along. I feel an urge to knit some socks on a machine. Uh-oh!

Bona Fide Knitter

Friday, February 9, 2007

The Knit Goes On, Slowly

Love Bite #9 - Love is more than a one-day-a-year heart-shaped box of chocolates.

The baby kimono is moving along slowly. It's white and I don't like schlepping it with me. I only knit on it in the most pristine of circumstances--at home in my easy chair after having washed and sanitized my hands and placed a towel in my lap.

The Abundance Afghan is still small enough to stuff in a Baggie so it is my tote-along project of choice recently. I guess I'm taking a break from any sock UFOs.

Although I've been home a lot this week the baby kimono didn't get much attention. Not only does the knit go on so does the decluttering. It's a monumental job. It's like a 9 to 5. I'm retired for goodness sake! So I quit around noonish.

Bona Fide Knitter

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Knitted Babes

Love Bite #8 - Unconditional love? It depends on the conditions.

I couldn't hold out any longer. I succumbed. I bought the book.

Well, it was brand new and at a price, including postage, I couldn't refuse. I've perused all of it and read quite a bit too. These girls combine at least three of my hobbies: knitting, sewing and dolls. I love these hip chicks! These babes have street creds. It says so right in the book. Ya gotta love 'em! Now whether I ever get around to making any of them is a different story. I'm reading the blog, starting at the beginning, for inspiration. I see a Knitted Babe somewhere in my future, maybe this summer. They are quite portable and could be my socks alternative.

I watched the Oprah decluttering program yesterday and it was not a rehash of the doggie doodie lady. It was all new and hit very close to home. Normal people, no dirt, no filth, just too much stuff which has taken over their lives and sucked out the life. I can relate. So today I will continue the Decluttering Job of the Century with new determination and new resolve. One room at a time is the way. I took notes. I will try new methods. I might even by the book, It's All Too Much, by Peter Walsh, the guy from TLC's hit show Clean Sweep.

On another knitting note, I am working on a Valentine surprise. No, it does not throw me off my modified Rule of Three. You'll find out what, why and how on Valentine's Day.

Bona Fide Knitter

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Decluttering and Oprah

Love Bite #7 - Love isn't in the cards? Deal a new hand.

Talk about your "signs"! Holey-moley am I getting the signs this week! First I started a baby kimono and got a baby shower invitation. Yesterday I began the decluttering undertaking of the century. Today Oprah is having a show on decluttering. It seems there was a previous show and she will revisit those who were straightened out before. I hope it's not the lady with the dog poop all over the place including in the bathtub/shower. I'm not that bad. There is an errant gene in my family. We can't throw anything away. My problem is exacerbated by the fact that I have a lot of hobbies and collections so my house is chock full but not chock filthy. Well, that is if you don't count dust bunnies.

How long are you supposed to keep old check registers and cancelled checks? I would have them back to the sixties had there not been a basement flood. I can remember when I was trying to decide whether to try and dry them or just throw the sodden boxes out. I threw them out. It's at least 20 years later and I haven't had a call for anything that was in any of those boxes nor have I missed any of it. That should give me a clue. I'm going to throw all this stuff away, including the ancient utility bills and tax returns. At least I'm going to bag it for shredding and store it in the garage until . . .

I'm starting to feel overwhelmed. I think I need to go knit myself into a calmer state.

Bona Fide Knitter

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Decluttering and Dolls

Love Bite #6 - Left the love game earlier? Live life. Love later.

When I saw yesterday's picture of my sock machine with my cluttered work area in the background, I knew it was time to take action. I got a call from a charitable organization shortly after (surely a sign) and they will be in the neighborhood on Friday. Today I will plunder my clothing room (former guest room) and bag all the clothes and 'stuff' I held back last time and still didn't wear or use. Out it goes! Then I will tackle my studio (former living room). Nothing goes from there. It just gets organized and put away. I need all the yarn and needles and books. I can't cope without my comfort of dolls. So they stay and my clothes go. I don't need a clothes stash, but I do need a yarn stash, a fabric stash and a doll collection. My dolls need a place for their clothes, so goodbye to my own clothes not worn for years.

Now that my priorities are in order I can begin my day.

Bona Fide Knitter

Monday, February 5, 2007

Sock Machines and Baby Showers

Love Bite #5 - Love is light and airy . . . tingly and touchy . . . heavy and humid . . . in turns.

I thought you might like to see one of my sock machines, the Auto Knitter. Here is a picture of me as I screwed the little bitch . . . er, devil to her stand. This was the first machine I acquired and is my most temperamental. I've had it for four years and it can still make me cuss a blue streak. I had sent her off to live with "The Doctor" for a few months and she was declared "cured." You will notice I look happy here.

When I got her all set up she showed her displeasure at being driven the 20 minutes it took to get her to the meeting. I can just imagine how displeased she is after the three-hour drive home. Here are a couple of close-ups taken when I got her back home. I didn't try her yet.

Anyway, I was planning to do a little sock cranking yesterday. Not to be, but I did cast on and knit a few inches of the baby kimono and none too soon. Today, just minutes ago, I got the baby shower invitation for a favorite young relative of mine. Let the kimonos begin!

Way back in one of my earlier posts, when I took on a modified version of my knitting mentor's Rule of Three, I mentioned that sometimes all rules would go out the window, or words to that effect, and that I would explain when the time came. Well, now's the time! I will be working on baby things for the next month or until I think I have enough, whichever happens first. UFOs are back on the back burner.

Bona Fide Knitter

Sunday, February 4, 2007

The Knit Goes On

Love Bite # 4 - When love is losing, leave the game.

I've been continuing to mark time by working on the Abundance Afghan. I haven't cast on for Sally's Favorite Summer Sweater yet. I tell you that cable cast on of a zillion stitches makes my throat itch! I remember on my last start I went ahead and used the long tail cast on. I have to admit I wasn't as pleased with it. That might be another reason why I was careless enough to switch methods in mid sweater back. The cable cast on does give the sweater it a nice edge, just like Sally says.

Anyway, I happened to be in Michael's today and found in their meager offerings some Bernat Cottontots. I'm going to cast on for a Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono. After all I did just finish a baby sweater. I'm allowed to cast on for another baby or doll item according to my work rules modifications. And you can't argue because they are my modifications.

Speaking of Michael's, rumor has it that both Michael's and AC Moore are cutting way back on their knitting department. It seems knitting interest has waned and they can't even give away all that gaudy eye-lashy stuff they stock. I think, and this my humble opinion based on no real knowledge and given because I can, the scarf craze has died and taken some of the new knitters with it. Other new knitters have gone on to become yarn snobs and are alive and doing very well in their local yarn shops (LYS). Some newbies, like the rest of us, are doing what we've always done, be it high-end handpaints, Lion Brand's Woolease or some hybrid combination of all that's available. The knit goes on.

And Speaking of Lion Brand, does anybody know why they were not at Stitches East?

Bona Fide Knitter

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Saturday with People from MARS

Love Bite #3 - Find something that you really love and lose yourself in it.

Today I was off to Virginia at the crack of dawn to meet with people from MARS. No kidding! There are really people from MARS. I'm one of them. MARS is the MidAtlantic Region Sockknitters. The MARSians are not to be confused with those knitting socks by hand, although some of us do. The MARSians knit with circular sock machines. There are many groups who meet from time to time all over the US, the UK and other places. Antique Circular Sock Machines are one of the things I've found and lost myself in . . . from time to time.

The antique machines have quite a history and have made a great comeback in recent years. You can learn much about the history in The Hand-Cranked Knitter and Sock Machine, an eBook by Richard M. Candee. There is a Circular Sock Machine Association of America and many sources for more information and buying machines. There is even a newly manufactured machine on the market as of 2006!

Anyway, a group of us gathered today and had, lessons, lasagna and loads of fun. Oh, and there was sock yarn for sale. We met at Shirley's and shopped her vast inventory of sock yarn. I was in Opal/Regia heaven.

Carolee, Stephanie, Shirley (host, not shopping) and Catherine shopping. And this wasn't even the tip of the sock yarn iceberg!

The Doctor is In - Barry makes another machine hum.

Can he get mine back in sync? You betcha!

And Barb's too.

Gregory shopped until she dropped and decided to tally up.

All tallied up, Gregory has time to help Carolee with a sock from her Harmony machine bought back in the 80s.

Sharon shows Gail how to latch up a dropped stitch.

Gail shows off her beautiful hand knit vest.

Last picture, I promise: One of Shirley's three cats, The Baby, says goodbye.

A good time was had by all. The Baby had a better time after we all left.

Bona Fide Knitter

Friday, February 2, 2007

Knitting Quandary

Love Bite #2 - Knitting is love.

It's right there in the stitches. Check them out! See the little hearts the knit stitches make? See the purl bumps (or bites)? Or maybe yours look like X's and O's, hugs and kisses. It's still love. Knitting is luuuuuv!

Now, on to my quandary. I don't know what to knit next. I was working on the Abundance Afghan yesterday just marking time, waiting to decide on which UFO to finish. Now that the baby sweater set is complete, my modified Rule of Three dictates that the next UFO should be a baby object or reasonable facsimile (which would mean a doll sweater). I don't have a baby or doll UFO . . . exactly. Does that mean I should start a new one? I've been wanting to make a bunch of those Mason Dixon Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimonos. What to do, what to do? I have more than enough 'my size' UFOs. I could finish one of those because I finished the Babies and Bears Cardigan for Adults, except that I have a need for mindless knitting right now. Lots of life's stuff needs to be contemplated and decided upon. The Side to Side Jacket or the Cocoon Jacket would just add stress to the already stressed.

Enter Sally's Favorite Summer Sweater . . . again . . . for the third? fourth? time. I was delighted to find I had already frogged and rewound the last pitiful attempt. You know, the time where I switched from English throwing to Continental picking in the middle of the back and made an English/Continental mess. You could see the difference as plain as day! Who knew?!!!

Since I rewound it I wonder does it really count as a UFO or is it now a USO (UnStarted Object). Because these are my modifications to my mentor's Rule of Three, I've decided to start the sweater. At least I am not starting the new cable sweater I swatched. The mere thought of that at this time makes me want to curse and swear.

The first hurdle with SFSS is the cable cast on of a zillion stitches. Oy vey! Well at least it's mindless which mimics my current state.

Bona Fide Knitter

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Love Bites

Early this morning I found myself in the waiting room of a national chain auto shop. Since my windshield stickers contained the numerals 1 and 07 and today is 2 and 07 I needed an inspection and new stickers FAST. You might wonder why I waited so long. I can answer that in a word: HUSBAND. It's a long story that goes back more than two weeks ago. Suffice it to say I got the ball started in plenty of time then made the mistake of throwing it to him. He fumbled and I ended up a day late and $80 short.

While sitting there with refrigerated drink machines humming in the background, TV playing softly overhead, my MP3 playing a Nora Roberts romance novel in my ear, working on some mindless knitting (Knit Picks Abundance Afghan) I was far from being in a loving mood as the novel's heroine was being wined and dined by candelight, showered with rose petals and then gifted with an expensive ruby and diamond antique bracelet, when all I was getting was the familiar shaft: he screws up/I pay. I thought how appropriate for February, love bites! Then I thought 'Love Bites.' It depends on how you say it. Maybe I could come up with a Love Bite, like a sound bite, like a bee sting, like a knitting note, or whatever, for each day leading up to Valentine's Day. It could be a hunka hunka burning biting love!!! It might even get me out of my foul mood.

Love Bite #1 - Be your own best friend.

Bona Fide Knitter

How Do You Like Me Now?

Happy First of February, the month for lovers. Valentine's Day is this month, you know. Forget about love for the moment. I have news. The Kids Crayon Sweater and Hat Set is finished, blocked and photographed. Another Finished Object! I'm on a roll. Fingers, don't stop me now!!!

The sweater with 'hands on hips' seems to ask, "How do you like me now!!!?"

"And I have a matching hat too. Come 'ere hat!" it continues . . . if it could talk.

Uh-oh this finished object is coming a-lie-eee-ve! Okay back to reality, down from the high of another UFO becoming an FO. Below is the hat, which asked if it could be photographed separately so you would pay particular attention to the topknot.

I'm stopping now. I can tell I'm on the verge of FO hysteria. I need a minute.

Bona Fide Knitter