Saturday, September 29, 2012

Swag, I has it

Monday was my birthday, so I took a vacation day (possibly the last for a while, unless I can sneak in a couple in early October).  I actually had a 3-day weekend, woo hoo!  As if that weren't boss enough, one of my presents was an immersion blender.  I have been talking this up to the family for months, and they took the hint.  No more blending hot soups two cups at a time in the food processor!  This weekend, I'll slow-cook a soup that'll need to be blended. 
The Young Gent is really keen on having the Cowboy Surf scarf by his birthday, so I must bear down on it at all opportunities.  Too bad I can't type by voice command, and have the hands free for knitting.  I was going to put up another in-progress picture, then went on and added several more inches to the length -- making the pics obsolete.  I did get them onto Ravelry.  You might study the pics showing the pink needle laying on the scarf; it points to an error that I don't intend to correct.  After all, only one Creator makes things perfectly. 
Wow, speak of the devil...the Young Gent just came by for a "fitting"!  He certainly seems pleased with his scarf.  I'm gonna be even more eager to work on it now, and just SO proud of it. 
No knitterly presents at the Birthday this year, unless we count the ones I've ordered for myself: a copy of The Principles of Knitting, some DPN sock tubes, and a digital scale (Tools! I love 'em) all from Knit Picks. 

Progress report

The Cowboy Surf scarf is coming along well. The Young Gentleman has seen a picture, and is eager to have it before the cold weather gets here. WIP pictures of scarves sometimes leave me cold – there’s not a lot of change, it’s just longer. But I’ll subject you all to the “wonder” of a longer scarf:

Picture taken weekend of 9-16. It’s considerably longer now.

I finally finished the dish/washcloth, in light green recycled cotton. So, to balance the UFO, we have a FO:

Ain’t it cute? Who doesn’t love the look of seed & moss stitch?

Usually I have two main projects going at all times, in case I get bored with one. Now the washcloth is done, what will I work alongside the Surf scarf? It needs to be small, fairly simple, and easier to work away from home than the Surf scarf – but only marginally tedious (leaves out Pup’s Steelers socks, sorry Dad!). I need to get started on holiday gifts, maybe some mitts & cowls. I could try the Alena Cowl, by Sarah Cherney; or the Ariosa Reversible Ribbed Cowl, by Susan Mills for Classic Elite; the Cowl Neck Wrap (such an imaginative name!) by Laura Farson for Cascade Yarns – for cowls. Let’s see what patterns I have on hand for mitts/arm warmers. Again alphabetically, these look interesting: Amiguitas- torirot design, April May – Jacquelynn Vance-Kuss, Arden – Mikka Tokuda-Hall (cables! Worsted wt!), Blue King Cabled Mitts – design by turvid; Blueberry Tea Mitts – Paula McKeever; Cabled Fingerless Mitts – The Knitter’s Book of Yarn, designer Jennifer Hagan. Hmm, I probably have a dozen other cabled mitts patterns handy (GOTCHA!); it’s likely I’ll be making cabled mitts. Now, I probably won’t stick with just one of these patterns worked in different colors. And it’s entirely likely I have yarns suitable to all of them, somewhere in the stash. So suit up, ‘coz we’ll be diving the stash this weekend!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Q & A

ETA: first things first!  Happy International Talk Like A Pirate Day!  ARRRR!

Do you look at Zoom's blog (  Lately she's been answering random questions from comments.  On the 17th, she answered mine!  And now I'm answering hers. 
I also have a history of craftiness, mostly fiber related.  Mom tried teaching all her girls to crochet, cross-stitch, and knit -- but her instruction mostly didn't "take".  I started collecting bone china figures of pure breed dogs, and other assorted animals.  Back in the rock 'n roll years, oldest Sis started embroidering on a pair of jeans, which she then "outgrew" and passed along to me.  I added hundreds of yards of embroidery floss to them, so that by the time they were stolen from a dryer at the laundromat, they were EPICALLY embroidered; they were the very measure of hippie fashion.  Needless to say, I was crushed by their disappearance from the laundry.
Later I took up cross-stitch embroidery and macrame, and collected lots of magazines about cross stitching.  I found that I just couldn't see the fabric well enough to suit me, while stitching, so I got one of those great big magnifiers that hang from a cord around your neck.  It's so heavy it makes my neck hurt.  So I've pretty much stopped embroidering.  Macrame still has its charms for me (what can I say, I was a hippie chick), but all that knotting makes my hands hurt. 
Then I got cancer.  While on chemo, moving around in almost any way would make the first order of business a trip to the porcelain receptacle.  As in,"Hey, I almost feel like I could hold down some water; let me cross the living room to the kitchen and get a glass full."  The woman starts across the room, then veers right towards the bath instead of left to the kitchen.
Anyway, I spent a lot of time just sitting on the futon, and there's only so much reading even I can do at one sitting.  One day between chemo treatments I went to the library, and brought home several books about crochet.  And taught myself!  All the time, what I really wanted to do was knit, but it looked so much harder (two sticks?!?) that my chemo-fuddled brain said "No way, chickadee".  So I crocheted for a few years before I took the plunge and learned to knit -- big surprise, it's easier than crochet.  And easier on my ganglion cyst in my wrist, too.  I had the best teacher (for me), Debi Stoller's Stitch "N Bitch.  I still refer to this book, when I feel I need her simple visual aids. 
My Little Sis wants me to take up needle-felting, and has given me some pattern books for items knitted then decorated.  I'm kinda "meh" about that technique, but could try it this winter.  I'll likely use some of my thrift store sweaters to practice it.  Gad, a plan is forming! 
Recently, I thought about spinning my own yarn.  I can't seem to get the hang of drafting, and there are other activities I'd rather spend time with.  No biggee. 
Next weekend I'll head over to the Threadfest, and try to snag some nice upholstery & drapery fabrics -- I have an idea that the Lotus Origami Bag  ( ) could be a good holiday giftable, that wouldn't take as much of my time as knitting.  So, now I'll be sewing?  Haven't done much of that since high school, which was back in the time before Time.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What can we say about Wednesday?

Normally, this would be "over the hump" day, but due to the seasonal (and other!) absences, I'll be working again this Friday.  Le sigh.  At least the work is moderately interesting. 

I'm coming into the home stretch on the latest dish/wash cloth, just the garter edge & bind off to be done.  This has taken an inordinate amount of time, because I've been indulging in my other favorite hobby: Reading!  This summer I've been through the entire Malazan Tales of The Fallen, and so far the first two books of A Song of Fire and Ice, just finished Neil Gaiman's American Gods (we read Anansi Boys last summer), and now I've started a weirdy, Rumo by Walter Moers.  Not to mention the other assorted books...and I tried once again to read the Sword of Shannara trilogy, and once again lost interest halfway through the first volume.  It just strikes me as a poor man's Lord Of The Rings, same story with different players and poorer writing.  I'll likely catch h**l for saying that; I know there are a lot of fans out there.  Not that I don't like Terry Brooks' writing, I read all the Knight of the Word books and loved them.  But what is with the Shannara stories? 

We have something to cheer us up: Laurie aka Crazy Aunt Purl is blogging again!  And we can even leave comments again!  Welcome back, CAP!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A shoe dropped

I wish I could say more, but today a very dark cloud that had been hanging over me for several months has finally moved away.  I'm so relieved, and I just know you're happy for me.

I've started a new knitting project!  I admired a young friend's panache with scarves, and offered to knit one for him -- knowing he'd likely wear it appreciatively, which would of course be a big morale boost for me.  Now, being a dude, his color sense is shall we say on the somber side.  BUT I found several pictures of yarns available online, and he looked them over, and picked a nice variegated (mostly brown!) fingering weight.  I ordered two skeins of Knit Picks Stroll hand-painted in their "Pony Ride" colorway, meantime himself & I are putting our heads together for a pattern.  I tried cables, but they completely disappeared against the ground.  Then I showed him two patterns that were basically about texture, and he picked one.  Then came the swatching, and ripping, and more swatching, and ripping, and finally I had something that looked pretty good.  I've knit about 8" of unblocked fabric, which looks like it'll stretch to 12" when blocked.  If you're on Ravelry, you can look for my "Cowboy Morning Surf" based on Jackie ES's Morning Surf. 

I worked in the ends on my Every Way Wrap, but still don't have the buttons in place.  And I've taken some steps to get a "care box" sent off to Texas, for the nieces & Sis. 

One last bit of good news: The Plaidman has a part-time job!  and it's very close to home, only about 1.25 miles away.  He'll still draw his Social Security, and his little pension, but with the additional funds from his job we just might be able to get the Innerwebs at home again.

I found another really good blog to peruse, check out The Bloggess -- but not at work!  Just  sayin', she's often NSFW.  But hysterical.