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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)

So...how 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.....

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

I missed you too!

But I'm back now, and all's right with the world.  Yes, my pets, I took some time off just for me and flew down to Texas to see Sis & Pup & the nieces.  Pup seems to be in better shape than the last time I saw him, better able to follow & add to conversation.  Sis is a home health specialist in cognitive and speech therapy, and she has some patients at Pup's senior home -- so she gets by to see him several times a week, and really works with him.  Thank God for her training!
I took the Allotrope double-knit cowl with me, but had the same issue there as I've been having with it here: I'm bored with it, to the point of falling asleep with it in my hands.  I don't think I'm meant to be a "monogamous" knitter.  But Sis found other "crafty" things for me to work on:  Peerless T's birthday is coming soon, and Sis will have a carnival for her!  I put together some darling red & white striped "circus tent" cupcake stands, blew up about a zillion balloons, folded up a slough of cupcake boxes, etc etc.... Sis will have midway-style game booths, and nerf guns, and prizes!  The kiddo's will get to pick out their own cupcake, and carry it home in one of the boxes.  They'll also get a box they can fill with assorted candies, just to be sure everyone's on a major sugar rush.
Well, of course the Super Shopper & I went shopping too.  We did not make it over to the Clothes Mentor, but did hit up Burkes' outlet -- I got some Skechers, and some nice suede sandals, and of course some jewelry.  The next day we went to Savers, where I found two more pairs of slip-on type shoes -- both pair by Naturalizer! -- plus a Jennifer Lopez purse in the most unusual light taupe color, and of course some jewelry.  We made it over to Michael's for some crafty goodies (yarn, and jewelry making supplies for DiscoDame).  And seriously, between the shopping trips, climbing in & out of the Escalade, climbing up & down the steps in the living room & guest room, I think I may have overdone the physical stuff.  My back has not felt this bad in many years; I can barely hobble around.
There was one morning of rather extreme excitement fear:  Bro-in-law shot a water moccasin that had come up out of their pond, and later Peerless T found a live possum in the tipped-over trash can.  I was actually on the phone with the Plaidman; hearing T screaming I hung up & hustled to see what was up.  But I didn't move anywhere near as fast as the little dachshund Copper!  He was way in the back of the yard, the trashcan was clear in front of the house, and at the first screech from T that dog became a bullet racing toward her -- little legs just a gettin' it!  All 20 pounds of defensive doggy flew to her rescue.  And her Dad popped out of his office, snatched up the girl and zipped back inside -- I'm sure he suspected another water moccasin.  But the possum was ok, and left under his own power a bit later, and no one got bitten.  No harm, no foul!
The other thing Sis & I do together is binge watching something really special on the big screen in the media room.  This visit, it was War & Peace -- approximately eight hours of miniseries, which we watched in four segments over four nights.  It was fabulous.  The costumes, the locations, the story!  We were so rooting for Pierre to have some happiness.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Hurry

I'n in it.  I've got to get on a plane tonight, and did not even begin to pack until last night.  But hey, the purse (the green one, of course) is cleaned out and harbors nothing imitable to the TSA, and the purple purse holds nothing but knitting ...and my phone & charger, and a flash drive for pulling pics off the camera.  Off course I have to have the cane too.  So, if you want pics, check out the Outfits Challenge page.
Now I had to find a doctor last Sunday and get medicated so the sinus infection wouldn't ruin my trip.  I'm happy to say that I feel a lot better, and might not have my head explode on take off.  You kids be good while I'm out, and I might bring back some treats.