Thursday, May 29, 2008

Not Yarn Shopping in Oklahoma

We drove to Norman this past weekend to visit our son. (He's pursuing his masters in geology and working an internship in Tulsa this summer) Before we left I carefully researched possible yarn stores to visit both in Norman and Oklahoma City. I found a shop in Norman AND in OKC. I made careful notes of hours, location, and driving directions. Who was it that said "the best laid plans of mice and men"? We arrived in time for lunch on Saturday and believing that a juicy hamburger for my starving husband and sons would "grease the wheels" so to speak, at the local hamburger joint I broached the subject of a visit to the yarn stores. Their eyes glazed and there was much hemming and hawing before my son informed me he needed some dress pants for work and besides there was a really neat used bookstore in OKC. Well, strike Norman's yarn store off my list but I was still hopeful for the one in OKC. We set off on what turned out to be a trip of Odyssian proportions. Never, never, I repeat NEVER set off to a city without a Mapsco. We had the address and phone number and the vague notion that it was off I-35. OKC is not that far from Norman, yet we managed to make a 30 minute drive turn into an 1 1/2 hour trek. We called that poor lady numerous times and begged for directions time after time. Somehow, through the grace of God we managed to find the store. After getting out and nearly kissing the ground in thanksgiving (until I looked down and saw the nasty wad of gum) we entered and made the owner's day by dropping a small fortune on books. I resisted buying anything (they didn't have any knitting books) and looking at my watch as we left I saw we still had time to make it to the yarn store. Anguished glances passed between my husband and sons at the thought of "yarn shopping" when they remembered we didn't have the mapsco and would get lost again. Besides, my oldest son said he knew where a Catholic bookstore was. This was music to the ears of my youngest son (the seminarian) and being a good "mom" I caved and off we went to drop another small fortune. Needless to say, no yarn shopping for me that weekend.

The weekend wasn't a total loss. I did start my Christening afghan and am happy to report that my pattern is working just like I envisioned. The size will definitely be a tad bit bigger than I had planned as I'm using a different yarn than I made my swatch with. I'm using a worsted weight instead of the baby weight and it really makes a difference. This is probably another "newbie" mistake (one of many) and although I did drop one needle size it wasn't enough.

I'm also almost finished with the back of my sweater. This pattern is proving to be more challenging than I had anticipated. My knitting mentor and friend, Melissa, is helping me interpret the pattern so there is hope.

Tomorrow is another early release Friday, but I will have to be good and go home and do my homework. I'm taking classes so I can finish up my bachelor degree. I'm taking Psychology, Communications, and Non-verbal Communications. Somehow I will manage to work knitting into my homework schedule.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Aaahh, summertime! From today through August I get off work 3 hours early every Friday. Today, being the first early release Friday, I celebrated by going yarn shopping. At Hobby Lobby I shopped to my heart's content. No husband checking with me every 5 minutes to see if I'm ready to go...just me and YARN! I bought 5 skeins of white (I know...boring) "I Love This Yarn." It's so incredibly soft and will make a beautiful christening blanket.

A friend of mine is having her first baby and I want to make something special. As she is a devout Catholic I know there will be a christening and I decided on a blanket/afghan. After a fruitless search of the internet with every possible combination on "knitting, knitted, cross, baptism, afghan, christening, pattern" I found a small jpeg of a filet crochet altar cloth with a cross. It seemed an easy matter in my mind to make this into a knitting pattern. This must have been the naive newbie knitter thinking this because the reality was quite a bit different.

Frustrated, near tears, and snapping at my patient husband for his polite inquiry "what's for dinner?", I was ready to concede defeat. As usual, the "right brain/left brain", "creative vs. engineering mind" differences became apparent. He immediately took on the challenge and in no time had taken my conceptual design and turned it into a graph. God Bless husbands especially mine! He printed it out on graph paper that he designed and I was able to write out the pattern so I could follow the chart.

I will post a picture of the design later but for now imagine a large white baby size afghan. It will have a large raised cross in the center and has 2 interlocking raised borders. I plan on using garter stitch for the raised sections and stockinette stitch for the flat surfaces. Hopefully it will knit together just like I envision. Her baby is due in September so I will have time to knit something else if this doesn't work out. (edited to add picture of project)

I had so much fun fondling yarn that I think next Friday I'll visit Yarn Heaven in Arlington.