Friday, December 25, 2009

Another Decade

Another decade has crawled/flown/limped/dragged/danced by. I got on the scale, took a good look in the post-shower mirror, and decided that; while I am in good shape, I either want to be in top form or dead by the time the AARP card arrives.

Sound harsh? Not really. Mediocrity is as close to the bottom as it is to the top, and to me...that looks like a lousy way to live. There are times where it feels as if the unknown evils of the deep are reaching up to grab my ankle and pull me down to a scum filled drowning death. Equally, there are times when it's all good. And I'm okay with both of those, it's that trapped in the middle feeling that I want to avoid.

You may have noticed that my definition of mediocre has a lot to do with balance. That's because life is about balance. Well, balance and choices. And I foresee that the next 5 years will be filled with a wrestling match/dance between those two forces.

Happy birthday to me, Merry Christmas to y'all.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ripley - fast and easy

A quick satisfying knit: Ripley by Ysolda Teague. I used a DK angora,nylon,merino blend (from the stash) held double for gauge. Easy easy easy. The photo styling of the pattern shows it worn either with the pleats toward the side front, or at the nape of the neck. Due to user error I got the little seam at the pleat, phooey. The little pleats at the nape instead, make this hat a delight to wear in the house. It's snug to the scalp, covers the ear tips, and the pleats pull up that weird bunchiness you get around the back with a regular hat. Very handy for winter houses/hotel rooms.

I forsee enough wearings to make the handwash nature of this hat worth it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

But winter hasn't started yet!!!

A little perspective: I've gone out to fill that bird feeder, which hangs from my laundry line, which in summer I have to stand on tip toe to unhook and fill up.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy Holiday!

From our stash to yours.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Seams to me

Blatantly bragging about my seaming.

And shot of the decrease row markers in action. I took the number that I needed (13) and hung them from a stitch marker on the work, then as I completed each repeat I hung the #'d marker appropriately. It makes putting the project down and coming back days later very easy. Which is apparently an integral part of my knitting style. In knitting I am not monogamous; in part for practical reasons - different bandwidth requires different projects, and in part because I am a yarn slut. Today my bandwidth can handle simple rib and watching the crockpot cook dinner. Guess that Rosemarkie colourwork vest will have to stay in it's bag.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Trading the word in for a question

It's that time of year again; actually depending on your calendar I could be considered late.

I've been puzzling over the guiding "word" for this next year. The truth of the Word, is in it's function as a tool. Compass, measuring stick, hammer.

I finally realised this year, I want a question:

"Who would I be, if I weren't who I am?"

I'm not talking about delving as deep as Byron Katie. But We've all been guilty of this in one form or another. "That's not my style; I wouldn't do That; Where would I wear it?; I don't deserve; I always; I'm not that type of person." Or heard it from another "You'll never...; She'd never...; Mom wouldn't..."

What if I weren't that woman? After all, I'm not who I was at 10, 20, 30, or 40. All those phases seem as though they involved specific persona, this time I think I'll take charge of shaping that persona a little more.

The next year is going to be rough for TAO and I anyway. There will be some shakeups, changes, challenges...more than the standard-dealing-with-life-stuff. Things we've been working toward for 10 years are getting ready to happen in the next coupla; so while we're dealing with all of that, what's a little seasoning shook in?

Perhaps the candy sprinkles that will carry us through. (that and our vacation in 107 days of course.)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Picking myself up off the floor

It didn't take 4-6 weeks after all. I PASSED!

Looking at the score breakdown; I missed the 5 questions I thought I would, and for the practical...remember the story of ABD? Well, because of the following the statutes, not the testing (doing ABD) I totally skunked the points for that part of the protocol, but did everything else for a perfect score - making the total high enough to pass.

End of saga. ;)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Thoughts

Since discussion of the test is verboten, how about some goodness?
But first: thank you veterans and all who are currently serving.

I cast on the hot viral knit Damson in Dream in Color Smooshy in ButterPeeps, and now I don't want to work on anything else. I love the yarn, I love the texture, I love the color, and I even love the "boring" garter stitch part of this project.

I made myself a little hot water bottle cover out of some ultra plush super soft knit fabric from JoAnns. As well as a little knee pillow cover of the same fabric.

A round of applause for my supermodel.
Then I finished Ergonomic Earwarmer by Feistywoman Designs

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I don't want to talk about it.

The test, that is.

I either passed it splendidly, or failed it splendidly. Usually I leave a test with a sense of whether or not I passed. For instance, I have no qualms about the written exam. I can think of 5 questions I may have gotten wrong, and I can miss 35 to pass.

It's the practical that has my adrenals doing the dance. On the bright side...the person I needed showed up. (Yay!) On the dark side...not appropriate at all; but meeting the letter of the regulations so off we set.

My uncertainty about the practical springs from a difference in statutes. WI statutes state-in specific, clear language- thou shall do such and such. The chemical MSDS seconds that. The testing guidelines state something different. I went with the state guidelines because when I called the third party testing people for clarification before the exam, they said we "don't know, we just do what the state says. Call the state." Called the state and she said "don't know, lots of people do it wrong, but the code says ABD, so do ABD."

Well, ABD, threw the test administrators into a tizzy, if I flunk for that reason, I can file an appeal. But that initial action caused the proctors to watch me like ornithologists with a new species. Even my test buddy said something on the drive home about "those biddies really had it in for you, they didn't watch anyone else at all."

Now, apparently, it's 4 to 6 weeks to find out what comes next. In the meantime, let's talk about something else shall we?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Calling on the Good in the Universe

Next Monday I sit for a very important State Board.

Well, the Universe will not collapse into a black hole sucking all life in with it if I fail.

However, it's been a heck of a journey to this moment in time. It has involved literally Years of testing and effort. It has involved thousands of dollars. It has involved dealing with bureaucracy until you want to rip out your own ear drums. All for something that Should Have Been Simple. Now, due to the lottery system of the testing date, it's down to the last wire and deuced inconvenient. People I have relied on have betrayed/abandoned me along the way, yet others have stepped forward to take their place. But I'm leery. Certain things MUST happen - other people are involved, they MUST do their part or I'm scr-wed. Not a happy feeling.

Add to this brew the fact that while I am an excellent test taker, I am an abysmal test waiter, filled with forebodings and nightmares of failure - spectacular, public failure. (Poor TAO.) Additionally, I have call 9 days in a row before the test, and have to drive 1600 miles to get back to the house the day before I have to be 3 hours from home on a cold WI morning for the first part of the test at 730am (with said person in tow). insert hysterical sobbing here

So, while there are others who have illness, plague, poverty, misfortune, unemployment, etc. I am asking for y'alls novenas, candles, incense, tossed coin, or other charm of choice for me next Monday. (and perhaps a little thought that I don't have a stroke this week, trying to juggle everything)

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Boxing the Compass

A finished object! These are Wendy D. Johnson's Peace Socks worked in a worsted weight yarn but at a sock gauge. They were part of the Socks from the Toe Up KAL, and included some pattern modifications purely as a matter of taste. Highly recommend as a fast, easy knit if you are determined to make socks as a last minute gift.

This little jewel is the southern point of my compass. Alisha's Plush sock in colorway Rainier. Handdyed here in Southern Texas. As I travel around for work I pick up souvenir yarn. As far north as Alaska, west to Oregon coast, east to DC or Baltimore, previously south was held by Northern Florida, but has been surplanted by Southern Texas. I do think it's ironic that my southern souvenir is named after a Mountain I grew up near. And the plush in Plush Sock? A little bit of cashmere. Mmmn.

Before going to see the Alamo (priorities!) I went to the Yarn Barn of San Antonio, a combination knit/crochet/needlepoint store. The selection was nice including a wide variety of indie dyers and good pricepoint coverage. But the clerks were what really made this store shine! Genuine greeting, help, and conversation. Very pleasant. They even took a picture of the FLS so I could show y'all a better image... check out the wall of yarn I'm standing in front of.

Friday, October 02, 2009

My kingdom for a photographer!

Well, I finally finished something - my February Lady Sweater!
(so not linking to that pattern, because y'all are serious knitters and know to what I refer) 6993 projects on Ravelry with 3846 posted as finished.

I wish I had a human to photograph me in it though, the only pictures I could take'll see : )

I used 14 balls of Valley Yarns Sugarloaf, an easy to care for yarn, which is good because I forsee a lot of wear in this sweaters future. The yarn is splitty which led to some "rackum frackum s" when attempting to manipulate for lace. But it's nice smooshiness makes up for it. Basically no modifications except for fit/sizing. I started with the smallest neck for more clavicle coverage, increased to the medium to the sleeve split, then decreased out the seven underarm stitches within 8 rows to keep the body from A-lining & adding visual width.

I'm currently in 90+ weather with 75+ humidity, so this yummy Lady will have to wait for a change in location. Perhaps I'll crank the AC for just tonight though, so I can bask in her snuggliness.

Friday, September 18, 2009

May you be inscribed.

For You are He Who remembers forever all forgotten things -- Rosh Hashanah Musaf Amidah.

Another year has alternately whisked/dragged by.

In an odd twist, I am home and TAO is not. Which I can tell you, feels very odd. When I think of this house, I picture TAO in it somewhere. And the dogs are confused, they're used to not knowing when I'm coming through the door, but Dad comes home by dark - hence their confusion.

Too often this year I have forgotten that "Life is Good", I've been so busy keeping our head above the water that I've lost sight of being grateful I can paddle. There were some episodes in which I was, frankly, betrayed. And that made me unwilling to perform the small graces which make life civilized. However, as the Amidah says today "remembers...all forgotten things". Hopefully, the small goods that I have unconsiously done will cancel the sins that I can not name.

May your own next year be filled with grace, strength, and sweetness.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Project that almost didn't live

Behold the Alpha tank. So named because of the yarn, Online Alpha. There are alot of reasons this item almost never came about. I bought the yarn while doped up from surgery - this is obvious - how can you tell? It's Pink. Seriously, pink. Frick.

Overlooking the pinkness (something that I have none of in my wardrobe because I loathe it), it is a lovely set of hues - in a cotton. Had I learned to knit on cotton I would now be a devout matchstick constructor, rug hooker, tiddlywink champ, anything but a knitter. I remembered why I don't own much cotton yarn shortly after I cast on with it in July. It splits, which since it's a ten ply, means it splits alot; doesn't matter how dull the needle/how sharp the needle/what size the crochet hook.

Also on the negative side (for the yarn) it's expensive, but poorly dyed. It is apparently spray dyed, because the center of the yarn is white, making it easy to find every split stitch. Fortunately it was on sale. Perhaps that helps explain why pink yarn seemed like a good idea

Then there was the pattern. I started with Wendy Bernards angelic chorus essential tank, but the pinks pooled. Dear Readers of this blog know how I feel about pooling. Pools are for aerobics, not for on my body. So I converted it to in the pooling. Finished the entire project -even wove in ends.

Tried it on - the pattern is written for the willowy and flat chested. On a more Reubenesqe woman - practically soft core porn - at the very least "mutton dressed as lamb". No problem, I still have yarn. I'll just add some sleeves, and bring up the neckline.

Great, now it's slutty meets dirndl. Rip Rip Rip. Frick Frick Frick. TAO is in the recliner, carefully not looking or commenting.

Back to the books...Yarn Girls to the rescue. Beyond the Basics - Tank You Very Much; demure, still a summer top, right gauge. Small modifications including garter stitch at the bottom, waistline shaping, and superhero boob mask.

Now I need to log off and go wear this before it snows.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

This little piggie.

That would be me. I am packing to hit the road again, and trying to be mature about packing the knitting. All I can say is "oink oink". Never mind a realistic look at how many hours a week I work, have call, workout, study for the boards, need to sleep, etc etc. I want to take alllllll my books and alllllll my stash; because well, what if I pack only these things and then get bored with them? Or they don't work out? Or I finish everything? Or, Or,

Pardon me while I return to snorfling my yarn.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Taking it all

The credit and the blame, that is.

Blame: Through actions completely my own I find that the next 4 weeks are going to be frenetic. It's time to pack and move again, followed by jury duty, State Boards, and the High Holidays.

Blame: I have, again, miscalculated the food situation, and overbooked my Tasks list. My genetics apparently include some deep set hoarding instinct. At the end of every assignment I vow to change my grocery habits, and -here we are again.

TAO and I decided to wait until we were ready for condo living to move, so that's off for now. We did have the realtor look at our house and we're going to work our way down the list, so that when the time comes, the house is ready. Guess I should stop stashing for my retirement and knit it now, the retirement place will be too small. It did feel good to hash out the goals and agree on a mutual direction. The past year has been stressful for us both, to the point where we both were eyeing the liquor cabinet thoughtfully. I have valid concerns that TAOs job is going to give him a stroke, and while I'd like to whisk him away from it Today, which could be done, that choice would delay other goals. Only 194 days to vacation.

Taking good wife credit: We had TAOs birthday bash last weekend, complete with deep fried turkies, preseason football, and fireworks. (Perfect man party). I asked several times what he wanted for his birthday "Nothing". Okay honey, consider the expense of the party your gift. "Okay". He calls this week, "you got a new holder for your ipod in the mail." "No, that's for your ipod." 20 minutes later - "send it back, it doesn't fit." "Hmmn, guess it must be for your new Birthday Ipod that is coming ON your birthday" "Gee, really, for me?!?" Nothing, my arse, give me a break buddy. I did notice when you said your battery wouldn't hold a charge anymore. Last year I got him the Nike+ workout system, and he built an Avatar on the site that is so cute, I sometimes log in just to see what it's up to. But his ipod is on it's death throes.

Taking good girl credit: I've lost 6 lbs and kept it off for 2 weeks. I don't count a weight until it's been held 2 weeks. I'm especially proud of that because I painted myself into a corner stresswise and could easily have gone the other direction weightwise. Bought new workout pants as a reward.

Knitting credit: I reknit both balls of the ripped sleeve for the FLS. Much happier with it.

I have also been fiddling with this over the last few months: I dyed the yarn for these socks in 07, knit up a pair for TAO, mailed home. Realised this year that he doesn't wear them due to fit issues. Ripped out socks, reknit, could not get 2 that matched/fit for the life of me. Reknit the PAIR 5 times now. Yes, Five. Yes, Pair. Almost done with the pair this time, and if they don't fit, expect the rotary cutter to figure prominently in the next post about them. It would help if the model were closer.

Gotta go study/pack/clean. Don't forget to balance your blame with taking credit this week.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Hopes - crushed and wildly fulfilled

We have an apple tree, two pear trees, and a cherry tree. We rarely get any cherries because of the Grosbeaks, and Bond the Cairn terror terrier eats the apples off the lower branches. He also wishes he could leap as high as the pears, but has to settle for windfall.

I drove home for the weekend - mental health being worth the cost of gas. Of course, after months on living in a hotel, I want to cook in my kitchen. So I called TAO, had him preheat the oven, and hit the kitchen with a cooler of semiprepped food to build enchiladas. TAO unloaded the car to faciliate his enchilada nirvana. I build the tray, pop it in the oven, and go in search of the basket that contains the non chilled items.

Behold! Next to the basket I find Bond, tail going about 4000 rpms. It was the culmination of all his doggie fantasies. The item needed for the dessert was a carefully wrapped, carefully carried, perfectly ripened Pear. He had delicately lifted it from it's wrapping by the stem and was daintly eating it.

I snatched it up off the new carpet appalled, but couldn't really yell at him...after all pears are fair game in this house, we even slingshot them for him to chase when they're hard and small, and the basket was down on the floor. He was so happy for a brief moment...a pear...full sized, soft, sweet, perfect.

There was only half left so we ended up cutting it into halves and giving each dog a piece. My beautifully envisioned dessert morphed into something else with laughter as a spice, and Bond has his manhood name - PearSlayer.

214 days to vacation!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Not listening

La La La La...not listening Universe...not listening.

We've got 221 days until vacation, and while I should be packing to move on down the road from this assignment, I am beleaguering the reference desk with book requests about the area and surfing the web. Lo! I come across a job listing for just the town I would want to move to if I were to move to that part of the country, and a nice real estate listing (or 3). What are the odds that a town of 5000 would have an opening for TAOs speciality position? And did I mention the 3 different people I met recently who had moved from the area because of family obligations and were sorry?

Fresh off the needles:

Nanners by the redoubtable Wendy D. Johnson. Did you see she will have a new book out next March? Worked up in stash Koigu with about 5 yards to spare at the end.

Since I should be focusing on transitioning in August, I think I may skip next month's KAL pattern and get some things off the needles instead. Maybe, we'll see ; )

Ps: TAO seems suspicious about the big items that have moved out of the house via Freecycle lately. Help me re-assure him that I am just cleaning.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The shrinking sweater

I was doing so good with my FLS, but then decided that I wanted the sleeve to fit differently and so had to rip an Entire Sleeve. Sigh But those couture, custom fitted clothes are so worth it in the end.

224 days to vacation.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


My plate, life, the needles, hard-drive, everything but the petrol tank.

I'm not complaining. This "Whoof, don't add one more thing" feeling, gave me the impetus to book a vacation. 233 days from now TAO and I will be getting on a plane and vacating for an entire week! Already booked the lodging, plane, parking, car ~ all we need is a house/dog sitter; anyone ever felt the driving need to relax in Wisconsin for a week? (to save you the math, that would be in March) March is not known as being the best month to live in Wisconsin. So it's the perfect time for a housesitter to relax in front of the fire, drinking hot toddies, and watching the big screen HD, or rifling my stash.

We're going to Sedona AZ. About 10-12 years ago I told TAO "I really want to go to Sedona someday". "Where's that?" "Arizona, high desert country" "Why?" "Absolutely no idea, but I really want to go." "Okay, someday".

Well, of course, everytime we discussed going something came up. Job crisis, his surgery, my surgery, major move...always something. Then I got angry. And decided that as I am the type of person who hates to waste money (just ask TAO, he hangs up if he calls and I say I'm doing the budget); I would go ahead and Do It. So we may be deaf, blind, on one leg and pushing an IV pole through airport security but we're going.

TAO claims that we can't go "because you'll go, fall in love with it, come back sell the house, and I'm too tired to move the stuff outta the basement." I told him he watches too much TV, his imagination has run away with him.

Let's hope it goes better than our previous vacation disasters.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

FOs are blooming

Done! My Snapdragon socks are finished, with two of a gauge that let me put them on. I suppose I could have just knit the second sock to match the first gauge and given them as a gift, but Snapdragons are my favourite flower, and, well...I'm not that giving. (and I have so few hand-knit sock worthies in my life.)

I'm not certain about the sudden and swift pooling that occurred on each sock, I would have preferred the stripeyness of the foot to have prevailed but there didn't seem to be a pattern to the yarn puddles, although it was repeated in each skein. Oh well, flowers grow like that too.

Size 2.0mm for foot, 2.25 for leg, 3.0 for bindoff
Pattern: Diagonal Lace from Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy D. Johnson
Mods: only the toe, changed it to try a variation I won't be using again.
Yarn: SweetGeorgia Superwash Sock in Snapdragon

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


The Heat forced the poor peony to bare it's heart. The hotel has one of those sensors that shuts down the HVAC when you leave the room, so everything freezes or roasts. Still, I feel like that little Peony gave it's all.


By Tuesday the entire room was saturated with this little flower's fragrant glory.


There is this one lonely little peony giving it's all to brighten up my hotel room

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Spring Fever

Beautiful flowers courtesy of TAO, just because

Warning: Long Post to follow.

In Knitting content we have the following:
Cast on the February Lady Sweater -

I figure if I can get one lace repeat done a week I'll have it finished just in time for October wearing. And I'm doing it with a friend in NY, so we are having a nice time.

I'm also KALing the Lacy Rib Socks from Wendy D. Johnson's Socks from the Toe up.
They are for someone I don't care much for, but I thought perhaps I don't like them because I don't really know them, so I'm putting forth the energy. I am using a yarn that pools, which makes me crazy, but since they are for a non-knitter who only wears designer labels and I intend to market them as house socks, I'm not sweating the flashing.

From the same book comes the Diagonal Lace socks. I started these in SweetGeorgia Snapdragon (my favourite flower) while waiting to go in for surgery. However, my gauge while, no. So I got to rip the first sock and start again.
But I love this yarn so it was completely fine with me. I blew up the chart, mounted each line on the back of a business card, hole punched the edge, put it on a split ring and it hangs from the knitting bag without getting lost. I use a little binder clip to keep it on the correct row when I get up and move on.

About the Spring Fever: I have it bad! And with odd manifestations. For instance, when I got the letter from the health insurance saying they would pay $246 of a $8600surgery, I thought well, hmmn, buy yarn. (I didn't actually buy yarn, but I haven't emptied the basket either). Now I ask you, does it make sense to spend money when you've just found out a bill is going to be LOTS more than expected.

This was followed by the next letter that they would pay $1000 of $3800 in the followup surgery. That made me want to go to a department store and buy girlie crap. I settled for a tube of mascara and a pair of shoes for work. And the third letter that informed us that our premium is going UP $223.00 a month. Which makes me want to get on my soap box and rant, but if I did that y'all would realise that I am Not a Nice Girl with a charitable heart.

Shortly after this came a spate of text messages from TAO that essentially boiled down to "can't we sell the house, move away, get different jobs, before he has a stroke at work?" Uh...hmmn. That led to some negotiations, that will involve divesting ourselves of some physical possessions over the next year. Because I was all for anything he had in mind except I'm too tired to even contemplate schleping stuff up the basement stairs, much less boxing it all and schleping it where-ever.

I've been skimming a couple of "self-help" books from the library. I say skimming because they have good ideas in them, but I seriously don't want to look too deeply into my heart and mind; because...well, what if I discover that I'm Unhappy? And not really in a position to do anything about it right now? That would suck.
Luckily, I have oodles of good knitting patterns and good yarn to distract me from deep thought.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


It was all well survived. Although TAO may be exhausted from treating me like the "Empress of the Known & Unknown Universe". All of which was totally his idea.

What was surprising was how much I missed being able to workout. So my Nurturance list for June will include various gentle exercises, where I plan to enjoy the feeling instead of cursing the time/effort.

The happiest highest point was when I was sitting, legally stoned, on the patio swing and I got to see a Hummingbird perform his mating dance. Right There. Wow! That's the stuff that makes all this work worth it.

Unfortunately, what little knitting I did had to be ripped, because for some queer reason my gauge becomes repressively tight when I am stoned. You'd think it would be the opposite, but No.

The only survivor was On Hold from Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy Johnson. Done in ShibuKnits in Wasabi.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Closed for Repairs

The blog is going to be closed for a bit as I apparently am in need of repair. I am going to have abdominal surgery next week, which is also Mother's Day/Death Anniversary weekend; both of which I fully expect to knock me down a little. So my primary focus for the next bit is going to be healing and getting back up to speed at work since contracts have ugly and costly clauses for non-fulfillment. That will translate into work/sleep/work/sleep/work/sleep.

I don't know that I will get a lot of knitting done, but I was in the middle of a yarn crush with my stash anyway. You know the type, where you Love Everything in the Stash, and want to Cast On about 9 projects all at once; which translates into not that much productive knitting anyway.

Looking forward to seeing y'all again when I feel better.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

And the...

And the stockings were hung on the dog with such care,

In the hopes that soon

"Stop! Stop! Cut!

Who let a dog onto the set?"

"Well, sir, you see sir....well it's a Cat Bordhi Riverbed design and we didn't have a cat available, but the casting agent said....

nevermind sir."

Friday, April 17, 2009

Note Pinned to Shirt

Permission Slip:
Traveling Knitter has received the latest two instructional modules in sock knitting and procured all associated supplies. However, she has not finished the last 35 rows of the socks that are currently OTN. As a result there is some concern regarding allowing her to cast on from these modules. It is my belief that sufficient interest has been expressed in finishing the current project~she has several times disrupted class by muttering "MMMalabrigo" & and "one more round"~ however she can not be allowed to cast on without express permission.

If you feel that Traveling Knitter should be allowed to engage in casting on activity before finishing the previous technique module, please sign this slip and return it.

Little Loopy

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I gotta get busy

Two new pattern books are arriving this week, and look at what the "Easter Bunny" brought Loopy. He agreed that I could help with some of his -no fat, no sugar- candy consumption. It includes Clara's Garden from Lorna's Laces, Shibu in Wasabi, sKnitches in Peapod, and Classic Elite Alpaca in Wren. All planned for socks. Hmmn, I may have to get this sock thing figured out eh?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Just for fun

It's a good day, it's snowing (7 inches) so I can wear my new sweater and I can spend computer time doing "educational" activities such as The Knitting Fiend's Knitting Addiction quiz. The only downside are the people on the pogo stick in the hotel room above me. FPS.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Marched to the Finish

It's finally done - 1200 yards of Malabrigo Worsted, 5 wooden buttons from Blue Moon, excellent instructions from Custom Knits for top down set in sleeves, and I present the Lettuce Coat....

I did very few changes to the pattern; omitting the buttons on the sleeves, adding a "SuperHero Boob Mask" and some short rows in the back because the coat is designed for androgynous women without curves. It doesn't flatter my hiney in the least but it's so snuggly and warm that I don't care! And it snowed yesterday so I can still wear it! Yay! For the amount of work involved I would recommend using a yarn that will wear better than Malabrigo, perhaps DIC Classy?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bang Bang....

Drive by blog post.

Someone pointed out that I haven't posted to the blog lately. Eyup, that would be true.
Primarily because I try to keep this a knitting blog (try) and life has been full of tedious, tiresome non-knitting things. What knitting I have done seems to have consisted primarily of reknitting the same 150 yds 4 times. Namely yards 750 to 900 of the 1100 total in the project. So there will be finished project before the temps break the 50s, but it's gonna be close.

One non tiresome thing I did accomplish was watching Planet Earth disc one. This is amazing. File under "Must See". When you watch it, in the first episode "From Pole to Pole" at the 22 minute mark there is a segment about the Birds of Paradise and their mating dances. I laughed so hard, it just really cheers you up. I even found myself thinking of this bird, polishing a branch, at work and smiling.

Knitting wise, I got a new toy. Excuse me, I actually got a new phone because TAO...well, let's not delve too deeply. But I got the Touch Pro, and while I can't make it do all the sundry things it's supposed to do (yet), I did learn how to store a PDF knitting pattern on it for easy reference, and the photo shows my Cloche pattern in use. I have also mastered the keeping of my Ravelry Stash Excel on it, and listening to audiobooks through it. All of which is knitting related, of course.

Hope all of you are healthy and well. I'm off to do more non knitting things.

Monday, March 02, 2009

First on the March

Starting March off right.

This is the Jenny Cloche again. It has a permanent spot in my queue of "Favourite Patterns". However, I skipped the bow this time, and instead opted for Nicky Epstein's felted Angel Rose. Other changes included using Berkshire in a single strand (red purple colourway), as the alpaca warms this hat right up. I probably should have used Berkshire Bulky, but ordered the wrong thing. No matter, the hat fits perfectly.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

March to the Finish

Over on the Stash and Burn boards of Ravelry we're doing March to the Finish. Picking up those projects that fell to wayside during the holiday frenzy to finish gifts, perform bookkeeping, and tax time. One thing that will not be "marching" anywhere, (except a corner) are these socks.

This yarn has been cast on 6 different times, 5 as socks, once as a scarf. It's been queued as being owned by multiple people, but only one person as yet has finished anything, which were indeed swirly socks. So I have cast it aside in favour of well behaved projects, hoping that I will come across whatever will unlock it's inner colour vision. Perhaps the "Chevron Scarf"?

Friday, February 20, 2009

The dreaded swirls

It all started with this a great colour way that shall remain nameless until I stop squirreling it up.

It was so pretty in the hank, then the ball, that it was driving passion to cast on socks. (It was either the yarn, or the need to distract myself from outside stressors; I'm sayin' it was the yarn) I even put a pattern onto the foot, something I rarely do. Then I noticed the big swirl. No, no, No! I say unto you No. No swirls.

Frog, frog, frog. Tried two different skeins, which despite starting at different points on the dye pattern soon ran neck in neck. Tink, Tink, Tink. I think this is when I lost my lovely stitch marker Try it knit from both ends of the ball - same piece of string, worked opposite ways, must not match up, right? Within 2 rows.

Rip, Rip, Rip. Try a different number of stitches. Hmmn, now the sock is too big, and the colours have divided evenly with all the blues on one half, and the oranges on the other. I don't want to go down a needle size because I'm already on 1s. Rather than deal with the bookkeeping/taxes/work stress, I think I'll peruse knitting patterns until I find something that will wiggle it's way out of the spirals.

Because that's what mature sane people do, right? Distract themselves with something else. That's why TV is so popular.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Unutterably Rude.

A while back the fabulous Chelle (with the great hair) sent me a care package.

Which I, of course, opened before doing any of the mature mail opening. I may have even rolled on the Alpaca, played Jedi KNIghT with the shawl pin, and performed sundry other welcoming rituals.

What I did not do was post it on the blog with a huge THANK YOU. I took a picture so that I could, and then suffered the crash of '08. But here it is.

Thank you Chelle. I love the colour of the yarn, it's so perfectly me. And the stitch markers are currently working hard on the lettuce coat. Smooches.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Bleah on Maturity....

Have you ever had on of those patterns that just "oh, oh, I have to make that. NOW? The new Knitty Surprise pattern is one of those for me. It fits in perfectly with my work, and I know just the person to give it to, they would get the joke but still honor the knitting work. And it looks like Fun.


My stash is there and I am here. (Picture map of any scale with two dots very far from each other.)

I probably have yarn in the stash I could use for this. You know the kind, inexpensive but good yarn, perfect for a gag gift; leftover from some other project. I can wait 5 weeks until the stash and I are together, however I would no longer work with the receiptent. I can attempt to communicate with TAO and hope the right yarn arrives. (For the record...previous attempts at this have not been wildly successful. It's like asking me to get the ogee router bit.)

I could use one of my 4 project-deal-a-meal cards. But that's like using your cheat points to eat butter on brussel sprouts, you want to save it for a caramel vanilla dessert instead. It was easier when I would have either waited or just bought the yarn.

I could skip the whole thing. I do think it's funny that the pattern calls the aorta and pulmonary arteries "valves" instead of vessels.

Hmmn, what to do, what to do.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Laguna's baby sister

TAOs Raincheck gift arrived! From the Loopy Ewe of course.

The back view,

She is a little wider across the beam than the Laguna, and more solidly structured. Without an inside divider.

Laguna sized next to Zuma

What was inside for the photos; 21 ounce waterbottle, full size hand cream, phone, sock project, lipstick.<

Monday, January 19, 2009

Moving without motion

No, I'm not talking Meta-Zen. It's a long story with very little (sadly) knitting so if you came to fulfill fiber fantasies...move along.

TAO and I moved 11 times in 7 years. We've been at the 12th place 5 years now. I am FINALLY going to get my new floors.

Of course, that means now is the perfect time to paint - you don't have to worry about drips. Unfortunately, TAO took that to mean...don't worry about drips anywhere...but that's another story. So we painted. There's nothing like a marathon painting session to make you wonder why you have such a big house. I mean, that's alot of Ceiling.

Back to the moving thingy - The astute among you will realise that in order to install flooring, they must remove the old flooring, which means nothing can be on the floor. Hmmn, it's -18F in the garage, perhaps it's a good thing we have such a big house after all, because 3 rooms of furniture and counters has to go somewhere.

Since we had to displace everything, it was decided that we should shift it as though we are Moving. Really look at things and ask ourselves "Would you pay money for someone else to move this? Would you carry it up and down flights of stairs in order to keep it?" Of course there is some chaos in this as I am only home 2 days this month.'s liberating. TAO and I hoard. Especially since we've stopped purging for moving. When I come home between assignments I tend to dump/reload, leaving items behind. When TAO can't find something, he gets another one. Right now the focus is on the part of the house that is being renovated, but it feels so good that we are already mapping out changes to the garage and workshop when the weather is nice. The largest single item to go: the sofa. We meet people out in town for socializing; guarding our home space jealously. We don't cuddle there either, for a date night we build a picnic on the floor with piles of cushions and quilts and snacks. The messiest part was the pantry; sorting the food, checking dates, pitching, recycling glass, etc.

Think how relaxing it will be when it's all done. How about you...what are you holding onto that you "wouldn't pay someone to move"?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

More "Free" Knitting

So I am apparently starting the year off with more "no stash acquistion" knitting. I knit this great sweater, even did some really tricky things......

For instance.......

I repaired this hole that was in the sweater from
things that went awry while traveling.
Lovely job eh?

Of course I meant to cut those ends, but figured I do that later.

Then there was the great seaming job, I mean, really look at this......

Worth every penny of a Lucy Neatby video.

Unfortunately, the finished sweater looked hideous, yes hideous, drawing attention to my flaws and downplaying my assets. Even the TAO looked and only said "Did You make That?" (because of course, it's perfectly acceptable to buy ugly clothing).

I decided that rather than have it guiltily shoved in the back somewhere I would reclaim the wool immediately. Because 6 skeins of slightly fuzzy yarn is better than bad sweater mojo. So I watched TV and unraveled the entire thing. (Angel food cake helped, Loopy on the other hand hid). Now, in 2010/2011 when I decide to make something from this yarn, it will be ready.