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Sunday, May 22, 2016

I left the house

I have become such a homebody on the weekends, so when we went out shopping yesterday it was a treat.  DiscoDame had a birthday mid-week, and got dinner at the Olive Garden (her choice) and a red velvet cake roll filled with cream cheese.  Everything was delicious, and we'd gotten there early enough that it wasn't at all crowded.  The young man who came after to clear the table asked if we wanted to-go cups of our tea (I did; it was the Bellini fruit tea) or boxes for the remains (Disco did, she'd only eaten half her lasagna), or anything else.  He had a hairstyle like Jon Snow's, and was almost as pretty.  So I said yes, we just need someone to sing Happy Birthday to Disco -- and he immediately started singing!  Then he told her to enjoy her twenties, it's a great time of life -- and I about fell out of my chair laughing.  She's over 30, BTW.
I wanted a picture of each of her parents with her.  I took the shot of Plaidman & Disco, and he got the dreadful pic of me & my baby girl.  Thanks a lot.
The man can not take a picture.  I think I'll have to invest in a tripod and timer, so I can get some decent pics of us gurls.  There are now tons of pics of just me, thanks to the Workday Outfits Challenge (updated!).  I am fighting to stay alive, but still consider what my funeral photo montage will look like if there are so few of me with other loved ones.  If I could just figure out how to use that selfie stick...!  
Anyway, we waited until the weekend to take Disco shopping for some really nice clothes that she could wear to work (as if..), and wound up at the Kohl's in Smyrna.  They had a pretty good sale on trousers for tiny gals, so we got one pair each in tan, navy and light grey -- good neutrals that go with anything.  She also got a camisole (pink) and a very light cap-sleeved tank (pinkish) with an interesting neckline -- she can wear it back to front, and it still looks great.  She plans to use it under other blouses, which she'll buy for herself at the Goodwill store.  I had changed purses before going out, so I could have just the minimum required (ID, bank card, comb, keys), and found a tenner in the little bag that I had forgotten I had.  So I gave it to Disco for her trip to Goodwill.  Then we went to Cracker Barrel, and we all had chicken livers.  This morning the Plaidman is hurting & thinks it's his diverticulitis flaring.  So he'll be pleasant company (NOT!) for the next few days.  Maybe if I take him to the hardware store, he'll get to feeling better.  We got a Northern Tools catalog and coupons in the mail, and he's got his heart set on that ladder that folds up ten different ways.  As high as our ceilings are, it would sure be useful!  We've two lights out in the kitchen, that just can't be reached without a very long ladder.  
Speaking of home sweet home, the HOA got on our case about the fishpond behind the house.  They were concerned that without having it filled and operating the pump, any water that accumulated would become mosquito breeding ground.  So they said we had to take it out.  Ok...but how much work would that be?  We were given referrals to folks who do that work, but couldn't get any of them to call us back.  It  was getting down to the wire, so Plaidman went out to look at it and found that it had heaved up out of the ground partially (frost?) so he just grabbed a shovel and got it out himself.  Then he went to Lowes and got 10 bags of topsoil, and filled in the hole, and scattered grass seed over it -- we're good!  Anyone want to buy the liner & pump?
Hey, the Yarn Harlot is riding for PWA real soon -- please consider donating to the cause, either in money or in "Karmic balancing gifts" -- going to check my stash now!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Fits and starts

We've had a time over at Box O'Docs, with a update to the billing system that failed to edit the way it was supposed to do.  A week after closing last month's books, we're finally getting a few tweaks in the system that are allowing some edits to be worked.  Whew!
I had been working on my Kara capelet, after finishing the Allotrope cowl and before finally biting the bullet and deciding on a pattern for the grand nephew's shawl.  But once again the Kara has been laid aside.  I cast on for the EZ 100th Anniversary Half-Circle Camping shawl, and I'm loving it.  It has just been flying along.  The only "problem" I have is putting it down, which I need to do because my hands are hurting.  So I'm trying to limit myself to just two rows, taking a break, and maybe coming back later for another two rows.  But look at it!
This is Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn, 75% superwash merino & 25% nylon.  It is lovely and soft, and don't those colors make you think of blue sky and piney woods?  I am quite taken with the pattern, the yarn, the colors...and I may have a hard time parting with it!
Last night I finally got around to watching the first two episodes of Vikings, dang but Rollo is a good-lookin' dude!  And little Beorn!  What a cutie.  I only started watching this series on TV in the third season, when Beorn is grown -- and still a cutie!  But as least as much of a badass as his daddy.
I guess that's to be expected from the shield-maiden's boy.
Well, I have been thinking hard about a halter top for a niece.  All the pictures she showed me were of crocheted tops, and I'm pretty sure I can find a pattern (although most seem to be swimsuit tops, very minimal and probably not meeting her Mama's standards), but I don't want to do even that much crochet.  So, how to knit one that will provide the required coverage?  I have an idea, which would allow me to practice a technique I haven't used much, and also allow me to try something new.  I suspect some maths may be involved, but if I can get it working the coverage will not be an issue.  Stay tuned for developments.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

News of all kinds

We've certainly had both kinds this week.  Let's start with the good news:  The Allotrope Cowl is off the needles!  My favorite goofy knitwear model will display it's beauty:

Oh yes!
It's very soft & stretchy, not too difficult to wrap twice.  I carried to work to show to a friend there, who's been sharing her own handicraft adventures with me.  She's a quilter, and just recently learned to knit too.  So the only thing left to do with this object is a wash & block, then careful storage until the giftish holidays.  I've decided the Every Way Wrap can join the cowl in the gift storage, along with the wild colored cat's paw lace scarf.  
The other good news:  I'm free to think about casting on another lovely project, such as a shawl for my new grand-nephew.  I did find two hanks of solid color merino superwash wool in the stash, giving me about 860 yards of yum to work with.  I've been looking at scarf patterns, with an eye to making them wider and shorter -- there are a lot of lovelies out there, but I would have to work out some math to make them square.  Or I could just use a pattern for a half-Pi shawl, like the EZ 100th Birthday half-Pi shawls by Mwaa Knit.  I kinda favor the camping one.  The issue is using the yarn efficiently and evenly, so I don't run out of one color long before I run out of the other.  Also, could I stand to give it away?
Then there's the sad news, of Prince's passing.  I only became a fan a few years ago.  No more new Prince music, it's just devastating.  We had a work anniversary celebration in our super-dept on Friday, and of the 30 or so folks that came by, only two were not wearing purple.  Here's my Friday look:
And that's a purple purse behind me, stocked with the usual purse stuff plus a pattern and two balls of yarn.  You can't tell, but I wore my wildest looking underwire bra too.  Anything for you, sweet Prince!  

Thursday, April 21, 2016

I shall wear purple

Tomorrow I'll wear purple from head to toe.  Goodbye, sweet Prince!  I wish I'd known you better, being late to your party, but hey! at least I became an admirer before your passing.  We must thank the Yarn Harlot for that, with her wonderful affection for you.  I never gave you much thought until YH started writing about her "other man" (not that she'd ever turn loose of Joe!  There'd be a stampede....).  Now I want to actually buy some of your albums.
I know I haven't been a good blogger lately, having skipped the Outfits update last Sunday.  I do have some knitting news:  I finished the Allotrope Cowl!  Now I can turn my mind to other knits, like the baby shawl for my grand-nephew.  I've about decided to make a Pi shawl, with EZ's pithy directions in hand.  I just have to figure out where & how to put some lace into it; also have to see if I have anything in the yarn stash that will serve -- I have tons of fingering yarn, a lot of solid colors but not superwash, a lot of superwash stripey stuff, just have to keep digging until I find a sufficient quantity of solid color superwash wool.  Or acrylic; I'm desperate.  I used to have a slough of acrylic "baby" yarn but gave away most of it.  It just sat there, taunting me about my hope to be a grandmother.  So of course it had to go....

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Ups and downs

Well, the sciatica continued to kick my can all week long.  Thursday was particularly painful, I could hardly sit still at my desk.  Then L remembered seeing some kind of ergonomic cushion in a box under her desk (that used to be S's desk, but S left months ago), and pulled it out.  Lo & behold, it's an orthopedic sciatica cushion!  She offered it to me, so I painfully pulled myself up off my seat, placed the cushion there, and carefully sat down again.  Immediately, my eyebrows flew up and my jaw dropped down, and L thought I was hurt -- but no, my entire left leg (that had been hurting continuously from just beside my lumbar spine to midway down my shin) had QUIT HURTING.  I was flabbergasted, and so so grateful!  I asked L what she wanted for it, but she said she thought the employer had gotten it for S, and S had left it, so I may as well have it.  It's barely used, and works very well with the office chair at work and the one at home where I'm using right now.  The Plaidman wants to get a second one, so I don't have to carry this one back & forth.  I did try it in the passenger seat of the car, but that seat is set in a semi-recline position and the cushion just didn't help much.  However! We went into Five Guys for a burger dinner, and thankfully I did carry it in with me because all they have are hard straight back wooden seats.  But I was fine!  So I must remember to carry the seat with me to eateries.  Lawks, that'll need to be kept track of, just like the cane.  I'd better put an address label on it.  Anyway, the plan is to get one of the TOA docs or my PCP to prescribe the thing, so insurance will pay for part of it.  I'll see the PCP later this week, and ask her about it.
***I am just 3 rows from binding off the Allotrope Cowl.  Now, neice A has asked me to make her a halter top, and showed me several pictures from various websites as examples of what she'd like.  Her momma just wants to be sure there will be complete coverage of ,.well, the bits that need complete coverage.  Most of the designs I've seen are in cotton, and crocheted.  As soon as I can decide on a design, I'll get some nice cotton or cotton-blend yarn & get it under way.  Fortunately, it's a small garment, so won't take a lot of yarn, and crochet is quick so it won't take a lot of time.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Free for a little time

I love Ravelry.  Here's something I found in the freebies:
This is the Textured Laguna Wrap, quite stylish!  I may have to make one.  I am 4.5 rows from binding off the Allotrope Cowl, so I can think about knitting other pretties!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

WIP Wednesday! (as an afterthought) many WIPs are currently lurking about chez Plaid?  Well, while attempting to corral all the yarn in appropriate containers in my new "craft room" (the guest bedroom aka BIG storage room), I found a dozen small and two large WIPs in various containers.  Most were in opaque totes; I guess if they weren't immediately visible they could linger forever...but now all are in clear plastic ziploc-type bags.  There's a tiny lace sachet, 3 pairs of socks, a lace scarf, a lace shawl, a lace tank top (I'm sensing a pattern here....), a Gramps cardigan (cables instead of lace!), 2 bracelet bags, a pair of cabled armwarmers (Arden pattern), and last mentioned but probably the earliest started: the feather & fan stole (more lace!) in Lorna's Laces.  This is not counting projects that I plan to work several times, such as the old time slippers or fuzzhogs.  It's also not counting the Allotrope cowl or the red capelet that I started last December.   I have seriously been considering frogging the F & F stole for the 2nd time (!!!), and making into a sweater for me.  To that end, I bought some more of the colorway from a Raveler, and some from a commercial source.  I now have a whopping 10 skeins, so should be able to make just about anything!  There will have to be some careful planning, to make sure all the slight variations in the dye lots are evenly spread over the whole item -- I guess I should plan to use 9 skeins because I'll have a lot of ends.  Now, the first time I frogged this thing, I had two whole & one partial skein in it, and washed the yarn to get the kinks out.  I did try to alternate skeins when I began reknitting it, so I'm likely to have a lot of fairly short pieces of yarn.  As this stuff is superwash, it won't wet splice (felt) together.  I think I'll have to use Russian joins.  I wonder if it would be worthwhile to cut up a skein of each dye lot into pieces the length of the shortest bits from the stole (or just random lengths at least that long), and just go ahead & join them?  Or am I overthinking this?  It would likely speed up the knitting if I didn't stop every other row to add in a different skein.   There was a lace sweater pattern on Elann that I really liked, can't recall whether or not it was worsted weight.  I'm a fair hand at cables too, and there are a ton of cabled sweaters out there.  But first & foremost, I must finish the Allotrope cowl.  By golly, I will get it done!  Right  after my nap.....