Sunday, March 30, 2008

Make One Year of Lace Kit One

The Post Arrived. Check out the yummy colour from Claudia Hand Paint Yarns. It's a special dyelot for the Make One Year of Lace Club. Silk Lace 20/2 in Sivia's Hot Brick Orange. I have 2 skeins of this type of yarn in the stash already wound into cakes, and now I am a little sorry. I am making Nancy Bush's Ene Scarf in Woodland Moss and it's very slick.

However, some of the Canadians who got their kits a week before the rest of us, had commented on the extensive crocking of this vibrant hue. Therefore when my skein came, it received three rinses in Sweetness SOAK. Even the third sinkful was still reddish in hue. But when I balled up the 1100 yards the next day the yarn had bloomed and was still lovely, but not so slick - more manageable in the skein and the needle. Live and Learn, Eh?

And my more adventurous/fashionable/crafty friends of the blog world will be glad know that the Phoenix Rising Shawl by Sivia Harding has Beads. I know how some of you are about a little bling.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Adult content.

Warning: the following contains content that may not be appropriate for all audiences. There are brief references to violence and destruction.

I started March with these: My first socks. Made the first time in 2002 out of Kroy Winter Eclipse. Yes, I wore them. But they were too tight at the cast on edge of the cuff. So after a long spell of wearing them with the cuff folded over, I dug from the stash the remainder of the two balls. Mind you now this was a couple of complete household moves later.

I picked back the cast on and re-worked the leg, adding a few inches more to it. Lovely springy bind off and went off into the world. Well now they slithered down into the shoe. But they were soft and cushiony and warm. And look at the colours.

So that brings these poor socks to 2008. Ill fitting and loved but not utilised as much as I would like. I finally figured out that the FOOT was the wrong size. Yeah, hard to believe I have a highly technical and responsible job, eh? (Violence ahead) I cut off the toes and heels, which by now were quite felted and worn. Then unraveled the remaining 3 segments of each sock. Washed it, wound it into balls and knit these...
I used the Fan toe from Crazy Toes and Heels, the foot and heel from Judy Gibson's Putting me On socks. (one of my favourite patterns) and did the Twin Rib from Sensational Socks for the leg. I still ended up with a 7" leg and now have lovely socks that will make me smile when I think of them.

I will confess that I have 2 more balls of this exact colour in my stash and could have just made socks from those, but these poor socks looked so sad in my drawer that it made the Holmes on homes experience necessary.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Is it Mardi Gras if you're alone?

Seriously, Purim is a Holiday of Unity.The three main observances of Purim all radiate with the theme of togetherness. Despite being a wry and creative woman I just can't get up the gumption to wear a costume and rattle a gragger all by myself.

I did take Mojitos to work in an assortment of bottles and sent them home with people. Not enough to make it "until you can't tell the difference between 'Cursed is Haman, Blessed is Mordechai.'" But enough that I figured festive meals would be enjoyed.

Purim is among other things a celebration of survival against many odds. Appropriate on both cultural and personal levels. However, I think I'll celebrate by going to bed early and taking Hamentashen to work tomorrow.

Woof, it's been a long week. Good thing I have a great bag.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Checking back in

Yea though you schlep to work, let not your items hang out loose.

Though you carry for both work and knitting,let not your items conjoin.
It's official, this bag is a keeper! I have gotten many compliments on it - Knitters None of Them (not yet anyway). It is well balanced, soft, and doesn't irritate my shoulder. I have been carrying it faithfully for a week. Full, Stuffed, nearly empty, purely for the effort of remembering to carry a purse. (Except in the grocery store, I only need money/list in the grocery store, and groceries are notorious for thieves.)

In the photos above it is packed for work. Items include an 84 oz cup, 2 24 oz Nalgene bottles, lunch,box of crackers, small knitting project, papers, lab coat stuff, phone, keys, etc. It was still easy to get to my knitting on the shuttle bus, and the bag hangs so nicely that the cup doesn't spill.

Would asking TAO for a Saddle coloured one for Mother's Day be Gluttony?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Nervous, bored, anxious?

Something to ponder the next time your mind is whirling around and around gnawing on a thought and making you stressed:

You are familiar with Peppermint, Spearmint, and with the new gums that include Wintermint, Cinnamint, what flavour is Fragment?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Whew, it's a big 'un

I might have tripped and put something in my online cart. I may have tripped over the DreamWeaver delivery box on the way in from work. Might? May? Puh-lease! My bag is here. Hee Hee hee. The combination of rationalisation and lust worked.

May I have a round of applause for the Olive Namaste Laguna....

Front View with the shoulder strap completely doubled on a 5'2" (66cm) size 12-ish woman.

I know that a big trend in bags right now is a lot of hardware that contributes to the weight (and supposed stylishness). This bag has very light hardware, it adds to the look without adding heft.

It is wide enough across the beam that it will add to your visual bodyweight. But what bag designed to carry this much stuff wouldn't. I will be replacing the 3/4" wide strap with my gel strap, but that's for My quirks, not a fault of the design team.

Back Zippered pocket for keys and wallet - no opening your whole bag to the world in order to pay for your coffee.

Front flap pocket for the phone, no chasing and fishing for it in a crowded aisle.

Would the impatient knitter in the back please resume their seat.
Interior and comparision photos are coming....

Finding it hard to get a sense of size from just listed dimensions I set it next to the Loopy Groupie Bag
and put the small Loopy bag in front to show it's size when the handles are folded down.
Straight down one side of the zippered divider
And the other side
And this is what was in the bag for all those photos...wallet, phone, keys, fullsized hardback, trade sized paperback, 5 skeins of shamrock, my Loopy Ewe accessory kit (sizer, tape measure, gum, calculator, crochet hook, scissors, stitch markers, stitch holders, cable needle) Lantern moon bag with skein of Knittery and a partial "Lacy Hug Me Tight" I think you would need to be knitting a Sukkah to fill it.

I'm running errands and going to the doctor tomorrow, working Friday & Saturday, I should know by Sunday how it's going to work out.

Thank you Ravelry ladies for the enabling and DreamWeaver for the quick service.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Who you associate with.

There is an old adage about choosing your friends wisely. This is true even online.

Back in Nov 2006 I became obsessed with the Zelda's. I waffled and sighed and made the bag my screensaver. I made a poor girl at work so crazy that she offered to pay the return post if I bought one and didn't like it. So I purchased a beautiful one from DreamWeavers in Morocco. (PS they are charming people with superb customer service).

It was gorgeous, well made and worth the price. (High praise from me). I do not mind paying a little more money IF the item is worth it. We own a Dyson - Love it. We paid a little more for the dishwasher a few weeks back so that it would be SS inside - worth it. But I will fume for a long time if I feel cheated. (probably should get therapy, but in the grand scheme, that's trivial).

The poor bag went back, and hopefully is currently living with someone that loves it. She couldn't be put in my cubby at work - too long and pokey. Wouldn't stay on the passenger seat of the car - too slippery. Tipped up like a reverse yoga bag if I put my phone in it. The double strap thingy irritated my Sonographer's Shoulder. It stuck out from under the arm and was constantly brushing up against neighboring dirty cars.

Ever since though I have made it a point to fondle Offhand Designs bags. I like the new Tonya but it is wrong for me on so many levels. So is the Zhivago. Now they are discontining the Zelda Tote. And I had been pondering that one. I could replace the strap with a Gel strap that wouldn't cut into the joint. You could wear it crossbody, except it's a bit rigid, not as rigid as the Zelda though. It has the outside pocket for my phone. It's truly a Shoulderbag, so I would have my hands free. It has the snappy top that I adore. And it's on sale in a couple of places or I could pay full price for a particular fabric that I think is the Meow. But it is fabric and a bit broad in the beam.

Let me insert here that I do not traditionally carry a purse. If I am shopping, my wallet goes in a pocket, my phone goes in a pocket. I put my lipbalm on in the car before I get out. If it's a leisurely day I take a crossbody bag for sock knitting. Which if I'm just running in for library books or whatever, I leave it in the car.
However with advancing age I am slowly working my way back toward some grace and Fem Shui. I have been practising carrying a handbag on my days off. Work days involve either city buses, shuttle buses, or .6 mile hikes to work and I usually schlep a bag with lab coat, lunch, snacks, etc. I would like to schlep with more style please. But the bag can not have so much style and hardware that it weighs like "Hoffa" empty. Oh, and for those that remember the bag I made? It was eaten by barbed wire. Sigh.

Okay, back to the point, which was Associating with Like Minded people. I wandered over to Ravelry and found a board called "Knitting Bag Lust". What a treasure trove! People's opinions, reviews, and photos of the inside of bags. Why don't people who are selling a bag as "Knitting bag" show the inside to prove why it's different? If you have an issue -ahem- with bags, do not go here. Live in ignorance. They review different brands I had never heard of. And they come back in a few weeks when the romance has worn off and give it another go.

They almost have me convinced that perhaps I should go with the Namaste Laguna. A bag that when Sheri introduced them I puhshawed. Since then I have heard them referred to on several podcasts with much saliva slurping. It is apparently lightweight, easy to clean, tactily soft, good pockets, adjustable strap, and sorta fashionable. It is also apparently the size of a Morris Minor. However, it is floppy and would hang a little oddly with only a small amount of stuff in it. So I was thinking of using it as a tote replacement during the week and as more handbag practise on weekends. (I'm too young for a fanny pack.)
I love the Olive colour, but one of the ladies on the board offered me a very good price on her Granite one. (she is tiny and it is too big, hanging to her knees if she uses the handle) Either way it's only a 1/3 of the price of a Zelda Tote. And I could probably resell it if it's completely impractical. Several of the colours are sold out nationwide until April.

What's a knitting obsessed unfashionable girl to do?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Short Attention Span

Yesterday I cast on March's socks. I've been sick for the past week and have only gone to work, gone to bed, gone to work, gone to know the type of week I mean. So Saturday I went to the Library to get books out of hock and decided that since I was dressed, out in the weather, and had braved the traffic already, I would return to one of the yarn stores that I hit last week.

I was under the powerful urge to buy a knitting bag. It was (is) like a compulsion. I get that way sometimes, just take an idea like a terrier and dig away at it. I don't mind the drive while it goes on, but the results are often sadly disappointing.

So I go to the Yarn store that the web had assured me carried So-and-So bags. Nope, nary a one. Just some other bags that I wouldn't buy at a jumble sale for the price of an egg.

All along I had been knitting the toe of March. Squeeze this yarn, knit a few stitches, look through that book, do a row...Suddenly I was leapt upon by Spirit 514-Nature. It passed the cheek test. Squeeze squeeze. Hmmn. So I bought it, came back to my hot water bottle, cast on with size 4 DPNs (loose knitter here folks) and have this to show: Nothing fancy, just some garter stitch around the cuff, and reverse stockinette around the fingers. I think March's sock will sit on the table until the mate to this is done. Never mind all the complex knitting that usually gets done at home, this week is for braindead. And obsessing about bags, of course.