Monday, December 31, 2007

Looking Back

I made up a 2007 retrospective:

Socks finished: 12 pair Socks in progress: 3 1/2 pair
Sweaters finished: 1 Sweaters in progress: 2
Shawls finished: 1 Shawls in progress: 2
Scarves finished: 3
Mittens finished: 2 pair

Those are all the projects I am copping to in the knitting department. I have a bobbin lace project and two weaving projects in progress. As soon as Mandy's sweater is done, I can decide if I want to finish things up or start new things. Or both *bwahaha*

Looking forward, I think 2008 needs to be "The Year of Spinning and Dyeing from the Stash all the Yarns I Want to Buy in the Store". I did an acceptable job of not adding to the stash (unduly) last year, but I did not do much to reduce the piles of fleece. At least if it is changed into yarn, it will take up less volume.

Time to go home early. Whee!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Weekend Plans

Knitting. Knitting. More knitting. Oh, and maybe some "House" :) The GLASG meeting (and holiday party) is Saturday from 9-2 and I will be there with soap, if anyone cares to come smell. The soap. I think I will bring some spinning to do - it has been sorely neglected because it is easier to knit under the covers than to spin under the covers. The Spinning Studio (we really need a catchier name) will be open from 6-9 tonight (Friday). I am going to bring my charkha and video for some practice and maybe instruction.

I have been chipping away at Mandy's sweater. It is a sea of "wisteria". I have been spoiled with variegated and handpainted yarns lo these many years. I am still at an easy section of the pattern, so it is my stoplight knitting. It just should not take me 5 months to finish a sweater! Thank the gods that I did the sleeves first or she would be getting a very funny looking vest.

I realized the other day that I still have not seamed / sewn Petal together. I am a process knitter, as soon as the knitting portion is done, I lose interest. Maybe finishing it should be my reward after I finish the other one.

Icarus is going slowly - it is my Tuesday night lace class project, so I only knit at the speed of my student so that it is easy to demonstrate the tricky bits. Slow is OK. I started a second one here a while back, and it is AWOL, so I may tidy up the yarn areas and look for it to work on.

I am putting off the Irtfa'a project for a little while longer - I want to make one in black of course, but I was thinking that one in barn owl colors would be neat too. Rich reds, browns, and grays for the top portion and light browns and creams for the lower portion and border.

I worked on my milanese lace moon over the long weekend and finished the arch section. I am ready for the uber-scary scroll turn and then the sewings to join the beginning and end and then the filling and then the framing. Whee! Then I can start the torchon fan and in February start the milanese heart at the Winter Lace Conference. Lacing is not difficult, but I can't stir up the passion for it that knitting and spinning do, so it is hard to get motivated. It is one of those hobbies (like tatting, weaving and quiliting) that I only do when I am with someone else that does it or at a guild meeting. If I worked harder and was more secure in my skills, I might do it more often on my own.

I go to see the therapist today. I used to think poorly of people who saw a therapist every day, many times a week, even weekly, but I think I may need to become one of them. My appointments are erratic (esp bcs of the holidays) and 10 days is just too long to go without.

Yoga continues on Wednesdays. That is all I can manage right now and I just have to be OK with that, although I think I can squeeze in a class on Sunday this week. I like the stories and books excerpts that Martha chooses for us. They always seem very appropriate to things in my life that week. Either she is amazing (well, duh) or I have a lot of issues to choose from.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Blue Christmas

...and it isn't even my holiday! The dogs got Christmas morning canned food and I made french toast for myself. We settled in to watch "House" and do some knitting. Well - I knit and they kept my feet warm.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Irony

I have been feeling much better this last couple of weeks. I have been chipper, hopeful, forward looking and making future plans. The trouble? I feel like my blogging has become singularly dull. Way duller than it should be. Knitting - movies - Mr Fixt - knitting - movies. I could write less. I could write more. I could write on a theme each day. I could get new hobbies. I could actually take and post pictures (actually, I can take pictures. I can post pictures. The trouble is getting the pictures from the camera to the laptop to a cd to a computer with an internet connection). Or I can be happy the way I am. That sounds good.

On that note, progress continues on Mandy's sweater version 2.o. No twisting this time. Progress was nearly impeded by short-attention-span-itis, as I was all geared up to get distracted by a new sweater project when I looked at the yarn label and realized I am a dork and ordered the wrong weight. So it got sent back and my attention was again focused on the Mandy's sweater.

I have decided I am in love with Hugh Laurie. I have no idea what I will do when I have caught up all the back episodes of "House". Go back to watching "A bit of Fry and Laurie" and "Jeeves and Wooster". I can share my affection between Hugh and Stephen.

My "Winter-Holiday-of-Your-Choice, If Any" shopping is all done. Donations to organizations took care of the whole list in 3 fell swoops. I feel good, no one is getting more "stuff", and there will be no standing in line at the post office. Ahhhhhh. Now the weekend holds nothing but fun: going out tonight with a friend, a trip to the OC Museum of Art, yoga, going to see "Sweeny Todd" with a friend, having a lace day with other friends, more "House" dvds, pie and german chocolate cake. Maybe I can squeeze in some Chocolatier and World of Warcraft, but those are difficult to play while knitting. Dang.

Happy Yule, everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Cloudy

I feel kindof funny this afternoon, like there is a big depressing *something* that is looming over me, when in reality I have the evening to myself. There should be a "House" dvd in the mailbox, I can put a pie in the oven, I can let the rabbit hop around the kitchen and freak out the cats. Those are all good things. I am even going to get a haircut tonight (don't get excited, it is just a trim). It is cloudy, gray, and drizzly this afternoon and that may have something to do with it. Perhaps i need a poinsetta in my future. Every year I buy one, and every year I keep it alive until July when we have a heatwave, and then I have to get another. I always think it will last the whole year. I can keep things alive - my secretary's day chrysanthemum is 3 years old and doing fine.

I had to rip out Mandy's sweater body yesterday, as there was a twist in it. Sigh. It is all the more frustrating because I checked 3 or 4 times that the cast on row was not twisted before I joined the first time. I rejoined today and knit several rows at lunch. Now I am checking it every 8 stitches to make sure it is still right. I put in my lucky stitch markers and I am hoping for the best.

I delivered the blue scarf last night and Danny put it on. That is a high knitting compliment! I stayed for yoga class and had a nice, stretchy time. I tweaked something in my knee, but have been babying it today and it should feel better soon. I can still only manage to make it to yoga once a week lately, but at least I can do that! It always makes me feel good before (to see everyone) and after (on that yoga high), but there is a place in the middle of class where I sometimes get cranky and frustrated. But I breathe and breathe and breathe some more and it always passes. If only I could remember to do that in "real life" too.

I have been all caught up at work and that is a very odd feeling. I like having some backlog. It is the same reason I always have some pet "works in progress" in the knitting pile. If everything is finished and there is nothing on the needles I think the universe might just stop! Maybe it makes me feel useful and needed to have projects pending.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Satisfied

Fran and I had a good time at lace knitting last night and put in another 5 good, solid rows on our Icarus shawls. Ending on an up note is nice. She made the most adorable gingerbread house - I can't remember ever meeting someone who has. We also had some excellent chattiness and made plans for our lace day this weekend.

I finished the blue scarf and washed it last night. It is here with me at work, drying, so I can gift it tonight.

Used my 40% off coupon at Borders and scored the very last copy of "Carnivale" season 1 - it was hiding in a display. I love multi layered shows like that which have lots of symbols, only some of which are explained. It lends an air of mystery. I was watching "House" the other day and Chase's dad was the guest; it drove me nuts trying to figure out where I knew that voice from. It is Lodz from "Carnivale". Then when I was watching the credits for "Cannonball Run" I saw Adrienne Barbeau's name, and a little bell jingled in my head. The connection got made last night - she is in "Carnivale" too. What a small acting world.

I am pretty caught up at work, which makes me happy. It is nice not to be buried and hopelessly behind all the time. My policy of working much less is still in effect, and still working out. The fishies are on a diet (which they are not so happy about), but they were getting pretty darn chubby. Maybe I should get a little shark type fish to chase them around.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Soapy Sales and More

So as you may know, Mandy and I have a soap business and, as it is the holiday soap-gifting season, we set up shop at the Downtown Festival of the Lights and at the Knit N Stitch open house this weekend. It was a good time, and we have plenty of holiday soap left for your stocking stuffer selections. In addition to the regular inventory, we made up special holiday scents including: Gingerbread, Peppermint, Eggnog, Mulled Cider, Applejack, Creme Brulee and Chocolate Mint (that one is so good that someone took and ate the tester for it last night). We have peppermint snowflake guest soaps and gingerbread men soaps. They are just too cute. We also have adorable Christmas / Holiday cards from Ruth at The Dizzy Ewe. And if you buy four soaps, you get a free guinea pig!

In other news, I am still feeling OK about life and Mr. Fixit. I still miss many things (and don't miss some others), but I don't beat myself up about it or take it personally anymore. Watching a lot of "House, MD" helps, as does snuggling under the covers and sleeping in. In between episodes of "House" I did quite a lot of sock handwashing - I found pairs that I forgot I knit. You might think that means I have too many, but I think it means I just need to keep them clean and in the sock drawer in a more organized fashion. Or grow more feet.

I knit very diligently on the blue scarf at the KNS open house and that evening at the soap booth (until I couldn't feel my fingers), and it is nearly, nearly done. Maybe I can churn out the last few rows today at lunch. Next on the list is a full-scale attack on Mandy's sweater. She is going to be able to wear it at Christmas dinner if it kills me.

I had a nice visit and Thai lunch with Rose on Saturday. Petsitting gifts were delivered, and general catching up was accomplished. It is nice to enjoy being around people / my friends again.

I took some time one evening this weekend and browsed around the Mission Galleria, seeing what I could see. I picked up a CD of "Pictures at an Exhibition" and "The Firebird" for $2 which totally made my day, and I found some small stocking stuffer items. They had one spinning wheel, but upon close examination it turned out to be a decoration piece only - the knob to adjust the mother of all is merely stuck on (not an actual wooden screw) and the flyer did not have the hollow bit where the yarn goes through - it was a solid piece of metal. Otherwise it was a very handsome saxony style wheel. Someone with a metal shop, who also doesn't care about adjusting their tension, might enjoy fixing it up. I saw a gift Mr. Fixit would have liked, but I don't think he deserves anything nice from me. So there.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

She'll Fly True

Yesterday was a pretty good day. After 6 weeks, I am finally getting some distance from my grief of losing Mr. Fixit. I don't want to forget the fun times and the happy feelings that we had, but I am tired of feeling sad. I don't think that being sad doesn't have a place, but I am just exhausted from it. I can't always make everything right all the time just through force of will.

I have been feeling like seeing friends and going to activities again (finally), which my therapist tells me is a good sign. I like the feeling that I want to see people and do things, instead of feeling adverse to them or resentful that I have to do things in order to push through my sadness. I went to knitting night last night at Knit & Stitch where Other Lisa and I started our sock class. I also got some good knitting in on the blue scarf. The end is in sight.

Yoga class was after that, and I had a really good time. Part of me is sad / guilty that I am not able to go to yoga 4 or 5 times a week anymore, and part of me is forgiving and happy just to make it on Wednesdays. All I can do is all I can do and there is no point in making myself upset about it. We did a couple poses that were really relaxing to me for the first time. I don't know if I came into them differently, or if I had some amazing release, but it was sure nice to just feel comfortable in the stretch and not worried that I was going to fall.

I finished off the night huddled in two shirts and under a blanket and 3 cats, trying to keep warm and watched "House, MD" late into the night. Or early into the morning, depending. It got to be wayyyy past bedtime and I was just really, really awake. I don't know if it was extra energy from the backbends we did in yoga, or something else, but I was tempted to just stay up the entire night and knit and do laundry. I am on Season 2 of "House" and they seem to have softened Hugh Laurie's character quite a bit. I hope it does not last - I like him sarcastic and cranky. Reminds me of me.

Tonight is a night at home, with no errands to do or activities to host or attend. I am planning on some cooking, some chores, some laundry, and watching "Cannonball Run".

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

And Now For Something Completely Different...

The quilt-in-progress. You can see the gray fabric for the backing off the side.

Some of the guinea pigs who need homes. How many can I sign you up for? There are 3 girls and one boy (the brown one in the center).

The body of the Petal sweater. This was taken before the arms were done.


The arm of Mandy's sweater. Both arms are done and the body is started.



Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Coming Up For Air

This week is going better than last week, when I was in the maelstrom, but shiny happy it is not. Oh, I have a job, car, house, pets, knitting stash (and I am grateful), but I am just trudging through the days.

I actually picked up the blue scarf and knit on it for a while in the waiting room today, and that made me happy. It really needs to be finished and gifted away. Ditto with Mandy's sweater. Saturday is an open house at Knit N Stitch, and I plan on wandering over and getting in some good, focused knitting time. They had movie night last Friday ("White Christmas") and I had a lot of fun visiting and working on Petal.

Speaking of which, Petal's pieces are done and I just have to wash & block it, sew the bits together, and add the collar/ neckline hem. So close and yet so far!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Woozy

I am back. I did not have a good time. The highlight of my trip was getting an IV on Tuesday night to rehydrate after being violently ill for half the day. Then I was quarantined in my cabin for 2 days (but I escaped for dinner, which was pretty darn tasty). I am still a bit unsteady on land due to being rocked on ship all week. I kind of like the feeling - like being drunk but without the hangover. But I also feel like I will fall off my chair at any moment. I did watch a lot of movies, some of which were surprisingly good: "Evan Almighty", "Night at the Museum", "Pirates: End of the World", "No Reservations", "Ratatouille", "Ocean's 11 (and 13)", and "We are Marshall".

Some knitting did occur. I finished the first sleeve of Petal and have made good progress on sleeve number two. Tonight is movie night at Knit N Stitch ("White Christmas"), and I will take one of my pending projects to work on. Tomorrow is the RiverSpinners Holiday party and the plan is to finish spinning up the Ashland Bay roving in the "seamist" colorway. I don't know what it will be yet, but I love to look at it. It is a grayish-bluish-greenish-goldish-silverish merino / silk blend and I adore it.

I also got a little reading done. Diana Gabaldon's new book "Lord John and the Hand of Devils" came out last week and my Borders had one copy left. If you like historical fiction and mysteries, give it a try.

My friend Anne's guinea pigs are rooming with me temporarily, and they are just adorable. There are 4 babies that are just a few weeks old and they are cute beyond words. I wish I could keep them all, but I think Mr. Whiskers (my GP) would be jealous. Does anyone need a furry friend? We also stopped by the bird store to board her parrots for the week, and it was a narrow miss on me adding another feathered friend to the flock. But I like the birds I have and need to spend more time with them, not get a new one.

And last but certainly not least, a boisterous "shout out" to my friend Rose who watched my pets for me while I was away. Everyone was fat and happy when I came home, the mail was in, and the place was still standing. She is a real trooper.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Anchors Aweigh

Well, it is almost time to go. I have the petsitter all lined up, I did some basic tidying, I have tackled the laundry. Only a trip to the bank, bookstore, pet store, and then packing to do now. I will be back on Thursday.

Last night I played some "Chocolatier" and then I watched "The Gumball Rally" and was well entertained.

Not much knitting progress to report - just another half dozen rows on Mandy's sweater.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Happy!

Right this minute, for the past 2 hours actually, I am happy. Can't tell you why, because I have no idea. I like it though. I am finally excited about the cruise, and am going to have a good time. I will try not to end up on those late night shows about people who disappear from cruise ships *shudder*.

I got some knitting done today at lunch - 6 or 7 rows (front and back are being knit in the round, so it is more knitting than it sounds like) on Mandy's sweater.

Otherwise there is not much to report. I worked a little bit on Petal last night and if I don't sleep for the rest of the week, I could probably finish it. I don't know if that is the best plan.

And I forgot to mention it earlier, but I knew it was officially "The Holidays" last weekend when I heard the first "Chia Pet" commercial of the season. I think they must start at one minute after Thanksgiving. I should find mine and bring it to work. Heh Heh.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hidden Talents

I decided to cook this weekend. I spent $20 on groceries and no money at all on eating out. There was T-day cooking: roasted acorn squash, cheesey mashed neeps (turnips), pumpkin bread and cranberry sauce. There was regular eating cooking: scrambled eggs with swiss chard and mushrooms, teriyaki beef, rice, swiss chard and beets one night and salad with seasoned chicken the next. I tried to make potato pancakes out of the mashed turnips, but only got a mess, so I added an egg and called it Turnip Scramble. It could use some sausage, though. It is really fun to cook - I like the domestic feeling. I really like the fact that I get dishes done while things are simmering / baking / sizzling. I have no one to cook for, and that brings me down, but I smash the feeling back into my internal Box of Denial and move on.

I got some knitting done! I disciplined myself and cast on for the body of Mandy's birthday sweater (very overdue). I am translating the pattern for knitting in the round, and have my fingers crossed that the design will come out even. Body, sewing up, neckline. I can do this. Easy Peasy.

I also let myself work on Petal - finishing the body and casting on for the first sleeve. I would work the sleeves at the same time, except that I did not wind the yarn into balls. I am working from the skein, which is draped over a couple of S hooks on the bookcase. It is a fine arrangement for one skein, but I shudder to think what would happen if I were switching from one sleeve to the other and the ends got all twisted up. Bleh. While I finally invested in a ball winder, I was hoping to get a swift from Mr. Fixit for Christmas, and therefore did not get one myself. I guess it is back on the list of things to reward myself with.

I did NOT start any brand new projects, which is good. I also did NOT buy (or inherit) any yarn at the yarn store when I visited on Friday. I did find the yarn for the theoretical rug in the cabinet at home, so that is one hurdle down on that project. Next comes figuring out how much yardage I have and how much warp I need. I worked a little bit on the strap that has been on my inkle loom for... well, I am not exactly sure. Several years, I think. I like beating the weaving into place - it is a good stress release :)

The blue scarf is on hold until I can dig out the other ball of blue yarn, as I have finished ball #1. Hooray for the halfway point! I need to put it back at the top of the priority list and try to get it done before I leave for vacation on Saturday.

I did not work on my quilting homework, although I thought of it often, but I did watch several quilting shows on PBS this weekend. I also managed to watch a disc of "House, MD", one of "Love, Hina", watched some movies on the telly, and re-read all of "Angels and Demons" by Dan Brown (of "Da Vinci Code" fame). I even found my missing (and severely overdue) library book, so maybe I can power through that this week too. Maybe when I am knitting on the blue scarf!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Holding Pattern

Not much new to report this morning. I made further progress on Petal and the blue scarf and watched some PBS last night. I should be able to divide for the front and back today at lunch - whee! This morning I was up early to dry some pants, make some breakfast, and watch some news. How many airport delay stories do we really need? Although the spot on United Airlines was amusing - the passengers arrived before the airline people at the counter and so they printed all their own boarding passes and luggage tags. I love it. Anyway, I really liked taking the time to feed myself, make some tea, and generally warm up for the day instead of falling out of bed at 24 minutes to the hour and rushing around like crazy. The next thing to add to the routine will be a walk for the dogs.

It is nice to be "up" today, making plans for the weekend's activities and looking forward to having a good time. It also helps that today was payday (early for the holiday), I have a 4 day weekend, we go on our cruise next weekend, and there is coffee made. And that I have spent the morning playing on Ravelry and reading knitblogs instead of working. I am doing about 30% of my previous work output, and am getting the same amount of praise (or not) and the same amount of money (no raise in the last 3 years), and no one seems to notice the things that are not done or are half done, so I see no reason to go back to the way things were. No one else works hard or accurately; why should I? I know it is because it is the "right" thing to do - but it makes me frustrated and angry when I work hard and others don't, and I don't need the added stress anymore. If we all worked hard and were rewarded for it, I would feel differently.

Boy, I hope no one at work reads this blog!

Tonight is yoga night, but I also plan to take some time for a trip to the bookstore, the pet food store, and maybe start a little holiday cooking.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I Like Knitting

I have been trucking away on the reward project (Petal) and it just keeps making me happy. I no longer worry that I will run out of yarn. Also, I discovered that it is fun and easy to knit up a hem as you go (well, as I go) when making a picot edging. One stitch mysteriously disappeared, but I am calling that a mistake-on-purpose so as not to offend the Knitting Faries. Fairies. Good thing the Spelling Fairies have the day off. I also picked up the blue scarf today and added some rows. I need to get back on track with that before it is Spring! I am looking forward to a LOT of knitting and tv watching this weekend. Perhaps I will install myself at Knit N Stitch on Saturday and work on Mandy's sweater. I like knitting, I like Mandy, it should be a snap.

I had my 2nd appointment with the new therapist today. I still like her quite a lot. I also like the 30-40 minute drive each way, which gives me some getting back to "work mode" time on the way back to the office. And it is right next to the Claim Jumper, so if things go badly I can always go get chocolate cake.

I continue to toodle around on Ravelry, adding projects to my queue and joining groups. I am pickyknitter75 if you want to visit me. I like adding virtual projects - no money to spend, no books to store. Perhaps this weekend will include a glut of picture-uploading. I have big plans (!) to spin yarn this fall / winter for several projects. Of course there are also the big plans to do more (some) weaving, to go back to school (starts 1/7/08!), and sell more soap.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Refreshed and Clever

Refreshed
I had a nice restful weekend. Friday I had a very sad day and went home from work at noon. I did some tv watching, some knitting, and some much needed napping. Around 5 it was time to get moving, get dinner, and open the studio for Open Spinning Night. 4 of us had a mighty good time. I plied not one but two 2oz balls of merino/tencel singles (from my own hand-dyed) and started in on some "seamist" top that will possibly become a shawl, or might just replace the mittens I made in this colorway a couple of years ago.


Saturday I made it to the farmer's market bright and early, and scored some turnips, lettuce, tomatoes, pomegranate jelly, and other fun veggies. The egg man was not there, so it was off to Trader Joe's for eggs, milk, pumpkin bread mix, cranberries, stew meat and some other goodies. It feels good to have food in the house again, and better to cook it up. In the afternoon I finished sleeve 2 of Mandy's sweater *yay* and as a reward, wandered over to Knit N Stitch to visit and to cast on a project for me, to work on in my "spare time". I bought a skein of yarn to make presents with, and called it a day. It was nice to visit with Linda.

I watched "Cars" this weekend (twice) and really, really enjoyed it. The animation was great, the storylines were good, and the jokes were funny. I am glad that Mr. Fixit introduced me to racing, as it would not have been as funny without some prior exposure. It made me feel all nostalgic for the pits. Sigh. But I liked the movie and it made me smile so it was a winner. Next up is season one of "House, MD", hopefully in time for the Thanksgiving weekend. Otherwise it is a "Firefly" weekend or I will have to make a trip to the video store. Or I could install myself at the coffee shop and play WoW for 4 days. Yum.

Sunday was the 2nd weekend of the craft fair in Hermosa Beach, and I took my reward project and a good attitude (gasp) with me. We had a better day than last week, so I am glad it is a two weekend show. It was cold and overcast all day, so no toe-dipping occured at the beach. At least not by me. Then it was home to watch PBS and take a nap and work on the reward project some more. It is a soothing knit and trying to work some "cuddly" vibes into it so I will feel safe and warm and comforted when I wear it. I might not take it off.

Clever
I feel clever this morning, as I think I have found the answer to a project. I was drooling over this yarn all week, and today I was doodling around, trying to find the right weight for a sweater (which would get real expensive, real fast). Then I remembered that I have wool. Lots of it. White and natural colored. And dye! You can see where I am going with this - I can destash and reward myself at the same time if I pull out Pearl's fleece (a black romney), spin it to the appropriate grist, and then overdye it in color. Some days I amaze even myself. I think that somewhere in the stash is some black alpaca and some black merino, if I want to blend the romney for added softness.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

It's a (Shrink) Wrap

I went to see the new therapist last night. I am pleased and excited and encouraged. I hope it lasts! In addition to listening, making notes, and asking pertinent questions, she is a crocheter and a quilter who has dogs.

I fell asleep with the TV on last night and woke around 2am to see a story about the "Birth of the Cool" art exhibit at the Orange County Museum of Art. They combine furniture, art, and jazz from the "midcentury"" for a full experience. It sounds like fun and runs through Jan 6th.

I have been knitting obediently on Mandy's sweater and think I am closing in on the end of the 2nd sleeve. The blue scarf is still seeing progress, as it is my "knitting at stoplights and while waiting for things" project. Icarus is not a gift, so it is on temporary hold - every time I want to work on it I turn to another project so that they will actually get finished!

I stayed for yoga last night (slow deep stretch) and was glad I did. If my mind started to wander or feel sad, I let it go and focused on breathing again. It is always fun to see "the regulars" and know that they like to see me too. AWWWWWW.

"Cars" (the animated movie) and "Love Hina" arrive in the mailbox tonight, so I plan on feeling cheerful later.

**Edit to add** ... I must have this. I read on a blog that it was designed to go with the Blue Moon Raven Clan colorways. Yum.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sew Easy

I had a great time at quilting last night. I got all the strips sewn together and the border started last night. My machine is back from the repair shop and runs like a champ. I even got to wind a bobbin last night - so easy! This machine was the top-of-the-line when it was new (1975) and does just what I need it to. We are the same age, so I feel a certain affinity for it besides.

The quilt top is looking great and I procured batting and a piece of fabric for the backing this weekend. There is plenty of material left for a pillow case. I am amazed how quickly this has come together (so far) and really enjoy a 2 hour break from being sad about all the stuff that has been going on lately.

Tonight is lace knitting night and progress on Icarus will continue. My lunchtime knitting absolutely positively will be Mandy's sweater. It is getting colder here (intermittently) and I don't want her to freeze!

Netflix watching has been thin on the ground. I watched "Little Fish" with Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving this weekend and have no idea why I queued it. I moved some anime ("Love Hina") to the top of my queue yesterday in an attempt to find some comedy. I have a very somber queue! Funny (not insipid) movie recommendations are very welcome right about now.

Friday, November 09, 2007

In Living Color

The Icarus shawl. I know it looks like a lump, but it is really a very attractive burgundy colored lump, very light and delicate. Those are the new Addi Turbo lace needles (size 4) that I am using for the knitting. Pattern from Miriam Felton, Interweave Knits, Summer 2006. Yarn is Lane Borgosesia, procured at The Loopy Ewe last year sometime.





The Rum Runner socks. These were begun when Mr. Fixit and I were in Monterey at the races. The first one was finished at the Coronado Speed Festival in October, and the second was finished on 11/9, here at work. If I hadn't gotten dumped, I would have waited to finish it until this weekend at the Big Bore Bash, making them real racecar socks. And so it goes. The yarn is from the Yarn Pirate Booty Club, installment #1.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Un Shrunk

Firstly, I am feeling better today. Both happier and more even tempered. I know it is due to the placebo effect of starting my meds (which will take 3 weeks to kick in), but I am enjoying it for now.

I went to see the therapist this afternoon and as I was leaving told her I cannot come back due to the expense (which is true. I have an electric shut off notice waiting in the car for me to write a bad check tonight). The irony is not lost on me that I left her exactly like Kip left me - I did not tell her that I thought she never listened to me, that she only wanted to talk about herself, and that I am hugely relieved never to see her again, but rather used an excuse about myself (I'm broke) that, while true, is not exactly the whole truth. Am I a bad person? Is this my way of exercising control over someone I can't communicate with? The amount of money involved is 25% of my income, which is a Big Deal no matter what else is going on.

Knitting content: I finished (and photo'd) the Rum Runner socks on Tuesday at long last. I will wear them to the RiverSpinners meeting on Saturday, or at least bring them for show and tell. I worked on the burgundy Icarus shawl (also photo'd) in doctor's offices yesterday and got quite a lot done. It is a soothing knit. I may have accidently started a scarf for the security guy who watches over the yoga center (I don't know his name, but I always wave or say Hi), as it is getting nippy and breezy in the evenings. It is nice to have the will to knit again. I was pretty worried last week when I couldn't even look at my knitting bag.

I realized yesterday that I left y'all hanging on my reporting about my vacation to Maui. The rest of the pictures have been put on the computer and I will have a little visit with Flickr soon, so there will be an interesting post soon. Or colorful, at least.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Good News, Bad News

The good news is that I must be feeling better today because I perked up when I got my Loopy Groupie "heads up" email and I went browsing through the new yarn listings at The Loopy Ewe.

I think we can all guess what the bad news is.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Maybe They Won't Notice

I managed to pull myself together and have a pretty decent weekend after all. Friday I met Ruth and we had dinner and pie. It was awfully yummy - pumpkin cheesecake can smooth over a lot of hurt feelings. Then I finished up some soapmaking, did some laundry, and valiantly tried to watch "Lady Jane" with Helena Bonham Carter, Cary Elwes and Patrick Stewart. I ended up finishing it last night. It is a movie about Jane Dudley, who was briefly Queen of England between the reigns of Edward and Mary, Henry VIII's children. I can't tell you how historically accurate it was, but it was pretty good. A little slow in sections, but not terrible.

Saturday was Lace Day, hosted by the Freeway Lace Guild. I sold some soap and some hedgehog cards, and visited with lacemakers large and small. I worked on the RumRunner sock a bit and drank all the coffee I could find. Some new RiverSpinners came and tried their hand at bobbin lace for the first time; Fran and I were happy to bring them into the fold *bwah ha ha*

Sunday was the Southern CA Handweaver's Day, and it was chock full of goodies as usual. The vendors took up 3 rooms this year. People were very interested in soap, and that is always good for the ego! I saw several friends and acquaintances and had a good time chatting with them all. I drank even more coffee than the day before and in the cacophany of wool offerings, I may have had a minor wool accident. I'm not sayin', and no one took pictures. Laurie Lawson at Capistrano Fiber Arts and Sandy and Elff at Red Fish Dyeworks / The Weaver's Cottage had particulary yummy colorways in both fiber and yarn. Una from Wooly Walkers brought some beautiful felted items for dispay and for sale.

I worked on the RumRunner socks all the way through the leg and was all set to start the cuff ribbing when I realized that my pattern notes (I had done some decreasing on the first sock) were still at home. Drat. Always prepared, I brought out my Icarus shawl-in-progress and soldiered on for a row and a half until it was time to pack up and trot home. With only 2" of k2, p2 ribbing to finish, I should be wearing these socks by the weekend. Whee!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Chipper if it Kills Me

Last night I had a good, distracting time at the Riverside Arts Walk. Two other Riverspinners joined me and we demoed spinning, plying, and drop spindling. I managed to wind off 2 skeins of sport weight BFL for dyeing (200 yd) and have some left over. Then I started spinning some laceweight merino / tencel in bright greens. Denise was working on a golden retriever fur hat and spinning up more yarn for that, which impressed the onlookers no end. Margie dazzled by spinning up some laceweight merino / tencel in deep reds on her drop spindle. It is going to be very pretty.

Today I have a proposal due at 2pm and then I have the rest of the day off *thank you Boss*. I will get the buttonholer to the sewing machine shop so they can make sure it works, I will get some dyeing, soaping and ironing done, I will meet Ruth for pie, and I will be in bed at a decent hour so I can get up early to drive to Torrance.

And the BEST part of yesterday was the fact that my chocolates from Tien arrived and they are spec-tacular. It is difficult to not eat them all at once, but the note does say that they have to be eaten within a week, so I will make sure that they are gone by then. With all the sad things this week, a box of chocolates is well-timed and much appreciated.

And while my cell phone did not leap in my purse this morning, the camera did, and I WILL take pictures of knitting today at lunch. I am eager to show off my progress and prove that this is, indeed, a knitting blog.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Progress?

Quilting progress: I turned in the sewing machine to the shop yesterday for a checkup. I should get it back next week. Last night I sewed (on the loaner) the first rail fence blocks together and then all the new strips together. Today I have to find / make / buy an ironing board and press all the seams and sew the strips to each other to make new blocks. This is coming together crazy-fast, but I imagine it will languish in the "pieced, not quilted" stage.

Spinning progress: I worked on plying some BFL singles two nights ago and will finish tonight at the Arts Walk demo. If I hustle and remember my niddy-noddy, I can measure out 200yd skeins and get them dyed for the So Cal Handweaver's event on Sunday. I also measured out 4oz rovings to dye, but have run out of cling wrap to wrap them in. I will add it to the list with the ironing board and cat litter. Imagine the look on the cashier's face! And maybe a little Cherry Garcia ice cream.

Soaping progress: I bagged up finished soap last night and watched some Law & Order. I miss working with soap. Spending time with Mr. Fixit took away from my soap duties, and while it is not the same as snuggly time, soap is comforting in its own way. I bagged up Lime, Pumpkin Spice and Vanilla, and will have autumn theme soaps and peppermint guest soaps for the weekend. That reminds me, I should inventory hedgehog soaps tonight! I am really looking forward to the soap shows this weekend. It will be good for me to see other crafty people and maybe get some spinning in if it gets slow.

Knitting progress: Well, I haven't picked up the needles on any of the three current projects since I got back from Maui, but I haven't started any new projects either. In fact, I have felt so sad this week that I can't even bring myself to buy comfort yarn! I don't know if that is good or bad, exactly.

Today is shrink day. I am not real excited. The cost is driving me crazy (!) and I am pretty sure I am going to need to go back on meds at some point, which requires a whole other shrink and then the cost of the meds. I really just want to give up on the whole thing and stay unhappy. I know how to handle unhappy. Or I like to think I do - there may be disagreement on that. For the last month or so I have been trying to stick to a new theory: "I am doing this because it is good for me", which applies to way more things than going to the shrink (like getting up, eating, not eating only cake, cleaning the bathroom, washing the car, and returning the library book that I forgot was due today), and I invoke when I know I need to do something and I just don't wanna because no one will see or no one will care.

I thought I was starting to feel better today, but I realize the tone of this little blog entry is pretty down. I am in a mental/emotional place where I have a really short fuse (really.short.) and no energy to talk to anyone more than twice in one day. So I have been snappish and sour and I know I should care but it is all I can do to put my clothes on and get in the car in the morning. And since I made it to work (on time thank you) I suppose I should get something done today. Sigh.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Vacation Recap: Part 2

Tuesday dawned bright and mild; a good day to go on an adventure. After a yummy brunch, we went to the ocean (just a few feet away) and played in the surf, laid in the sun, and generally relaxed. Around 11 we piled in the car and drove to the Tedeschi Winery. It was serene, gorgeous, and welcoming. We tried several yummy wines and brought a few home. My favorite was the Raspberry Dessert wine. We didn't have time to take the tour, but I hear it is lovely.


Our defenses down, we crossed the street to the Ulupalakua Ranch Store and had some lunch. I had the Maui Cattle Co cheeseburger and it was fantastic. They also have local elk-burgers, but they were sold out by the time we arrived. They are trying to build a market for local-grown, grass-fed beef on the island, instead of shipping the cows to feedlots on the mainland. This beef was sweet and flavorful, the burger made right there on the porch for us. Add the relaxing (to me) Hawai'ian muzak, the calm cloudy day, and the greenery all around, and I think it might really have been heaven.

The highlight of the day was the trip to the Surfing Goat Dairy . We took the 3:15 Farm Chores tour, and got to bring in the goaties from the pasture, learn how to milk a goat, watch John milk very fast with the automatic milking machine, feed some goats, play with the babies, and taste some amazing goat cheese. It was a blast. The goats they keep for milkers are all hand raised and very friendly. They keep Saanens and French Alpines. I bought a cute t-shirt and some yummy cheese (feta, sun dried tomato, and mango flavored).

After those adventures, it was time to turn in to the resort and have some dinner. There may have been a spot of laying by the pool / beach too. I did make some progress on the burgundy Icarus shawl and Mandy's sweater over the course of the week, while in the car and during odd moments in the hotel, watching Law and Order. Hey - it was my vacation, I could watch TV if I wanted!

And again, there ARE pictures, but they are trapped in the laptop.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Vacation Recap: Part 1

We arrived in Maui on Sunday night and stayed in Kihei at a lovely little place. I particularly enjoyed watching the birds - even the parking lot birds were interesting! I saw zebra doves, a purple breasted dove, mynahs, sparrows, and a cardinal. We breakfasted at Denny's (outdoors!) and watched the ocean while we ate.

We drove south along the beach until we got to the lava fields, where we could go no further. We visited an 1838 church and graveyard and dipped our toes in the ocean at Makena beach. We also visited Big Beach and the red sand beach. Lunch was found at a roadside taco stand which had great ambiance and fantastic food.

In the afternoon we settled into our room in Ka'anapali. I forget where the rest of the afternoon went - wading in the ocean or a well-deserved nap, I think. We also browsed the brochures and Maui books in the room and discussed what we wanted to do over the week. We walked to the corner store and got some supplies for dinner and then watched "The Claim" which was one of the Netflix I brought. It was okay. I think I ordered it because it has Sarah Polley (from "Go"), but it was a very slow, convoluted story with a lot of poorly defined flashback sections. It was beautifully filmed, but hard to figure out what was going on and unsatisfying in the end. The credits say it was based on Hardy's "The Mayor of Casterbridge" which I have heard of but never read.

PS. there are pictures, apparently I hit publish by mistake. I will try to upload the pictures tonight.

Sniffly

I am hanging on. Thanks for all the well-wishes. There are parts of his explaination that I am not posting about (although some of you have heard), because I don't want to be unfair back, no matter how I feel I have been treated.

If anyone can go back and cancel this last mercury retrograde - which is about when he says his passion ended - or at least bring about an early close to it, I would appreciate it. In fact, read the entry for this MR, as it is scarily accurate about what has happened.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Abandoned...again

Kip left me yesterday. He picked me up from the airport, took me to breakfast, drove me home, and dumped me. He said I have problems and he just doesn't care about me anymore.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Maui

I'm here, it's gorgeous. Today we snorkeled. There are fish in the ocean! Who knew?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Recharged

I went out to dinner with Mr. Fixit last night. He is just as cute as I remember. We had yummy health food and a cranberry-apple cobbler (a la mode) for dessert. We had a review of my therapy session and I think I can get used to this honesty and sharing business.

There was some netflix watching in my week - I got disc one of "A Fine Romance" with Judi Dench, and it is OK but did not grab me right off. 4 episodes later I was still not grabbed. I like "As Time Goes By" far more. I also managed to watch "Vanity Fair" with Reese Witherspoon and *yay* Johnathyn Rhys-Meyers. I had forgotten he was in it. He plays a bad man. He is really good at that. I liked it quite a bit, especially the costuming. It was spectacular. There was a little incongruity when she was gifted with a parrot "from India" that was actually a blue and gold macaw (from the Amazon). Considering the extravagance of the settings and costuming AND the fact that the director is a native of India, I could hardly believe the props people couldn't scare up an Alexandrine Parrot or an Indian Ringneck (like my own Kiwi-bird). Perhaps they were not as big and splashy as the blue and gold. At home I have "The Claim", and two more things arriving Saturday, but I suspect they will have to wait until I get back from vacation, unless I want to watch them on the laptop.

Open spinning is tonight. I don't know that I will bring spinning to work on, but it will be a good time anyway. Progress can always be made on Mandy's sweater. I have spinning to do, but my empty bobbin for my Majacraft Millie is AWOL, and it is technically plying that needs to be done.

I get on the plane Sunday afternoon. If you break into the house, you have to sweep up under anything you steal.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mish Mash

I am title free at the moment. I will try to think of something brilliant before I hit "Publish". Yesterday I managed a 1/2 day off as my computer tanked and ALL my tasks require it. Today I have a computer and a smattering of programs, NO saved email and NO internet favorites. We shall not speak of the personal files I meant to back up. It makes me a little sick to think on it.

Las Vegas was great. There are *gasp* no pictures. Sorry kids. I sold clothes with a vengeance and drank lemonade like there was no tomorrow. There were many men in kilts and none of them turned my head (as well it should be) even as much as Mr. Fixit in a greasy jumpsuit, working on the van. I may have bought some jewelry and a woven throw with ravens on it (big surprise there) and I needed another pouch as I forgot my new one at home. Sigh. But basically I was too busy or exhausted to shop. This year they had the vendors on one side of the lake and the guilds on the other, and I really liked it that way. I would have liked to spend more than 2o minutes over there though.

This week has been filled with preparations for Hawaii (read: laundry) and angsting about my appoinment with the shrink today. Long story short, I did NOT want to go. But I did. I was not too happy there, but the dust has settled over the last couple hours and I am feeling much more chipper. I have "homework" which I feel silly about. I have also spent some quality time sleeping (alone, sadly), and visiting with the pets, who have missed me, and who I feel really badly about leaving for an entire week. We have been watching some Netflix and eating fast food in the evenings for our quality time.

Monday night was quilting class. I had homework there too, which I did last night. It was to sew (no thread) along the lines of an index card to practice my 1/4" seam and sewing in a straight line. I got to do some fun things like break and change the needle, change the presser foot and guide plate, go to the store and buy thread, set up my spool thread, and fiddle with the bobbin thread. But, try as I might, I just can't get the needle thread to pull up the loop of bobbin thread. I gave up after a while and it will just have to wait. I was bummed, as I really wanted to get some strips put together.

The Rum Runner socks continue (I am on the leg of sock #2), as do Mandy's sweater and SG1. If the gods are with me, there will be a new Booty Club box on the porch tonight. I could use some comfort yarn.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Teaser

My appointment went well, I had a good time in Vegas, I am bone tired and at work anyway. More in a little bit.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Inside My Head

I go to see the therapist this afternoon. I am counting the minutes. Yesterday was pretty low and while Mr. Fixit cajoled me into joining the rest of the human race again, it is not really his job to fix me. He is patient and supportive and prods me when I need it, but not too much, and generally keeps me going on days like that. I want there to be fewer of those days, though. It wasn't so long ago that I was satisfied being sad all the time - it doesn't seem so bad when it is your everyday state - but I have been a lot happier lately with spinning group, lace group, knitting group, soap activities, and yoga stuff, even before Mr. F came along, and I want that to be my new everyday state. Thanks to all who leave comments, by the way, I love to read them. I check my blog stats and know people are reading (thank you!) but feedback is always appreciated.

Whew.

I did manage to finish the foot and heel of Rum Runner sock #2 yesterday, but had to stop when I got to the leg pattern section. While I have the pattern memorized, I forgot which row to begin on. I suppose it isn't the end of the world, but I would like them to match.

I also managed to make it to yoga. It was slow deep stretch night (Wednesday always is) and Barbara was the sub. I really enjoyed her style and when I have a free weekend (2012 maybe) I want to go to one of her regular classes. I also picked up a flyer for a concert thingy on 11/16 and paid my bucks for the home practice class on 10/28. There is a link to Inland Yoga in the sidebar if you would like more info.

Tonight is a flurry of activity before I leave for Las Vegas in the morning. Packing, feeding pets, laundry, appointments, gas in the car, wash the car, get directions, go to the bank, go to the pet food store. I hope to have a fun weekend though, even if I will be working. It is always fun to work with Don and Andrea at Whimsy, though.

The Yarn Harlot posted her pictures of the finished Mystery Stole #3. I am hip to knit it. But not yet. Not only is my plate full, I may have made plans to go to a quilting class on Monday night. Anybody wanna come along?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Temptation

I forgot to post this tidbit yesterday. Tien Chiu, a woman whose blog I read with great interest, is riding in the AIDS Lifecycle again. Be sure to check out this post and sign up as a sponsor or just wish her well!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Little Miss Sunburn

Ow. Ow. Ow. My poor little nose. At least I didn't get burned until the last race. Darn those Trans-Ams! The windburn is starting to ease, though.

Otherswise, a good time was had by all. Amazingly, I managed to catch up to Mr. Fixit around Encinitas and followed him the rest of the way to Coronado. There was a little excitement when a tire blew out on the motorhome just as we were coming down off the Coronado Bridge, but it happened in a "good" spot where we could pull out of traffic and feel safe. Ish. It was man vs. Winnebago, but Mr. Fixit prevailed and we were rolling again shortly, headed right for the reception and cocktails.

Saturday dawned bright and cheery, and it was off to practice for The Boys. Jamie had a little issue with the Berkeley, and had to spend the rest of the day tinkering with it, but it was up and running by that evening. Mr. Fixit raced the little red racecar and I was impressed as always. To unwind, we went into town in the evening and had some pizza (Village Pizza in Coronado *yum*) and some beer and generally had a grand time.

Sunday was more practice and more racing. This time I knitted on Mandy's sweater (SG1) during the morning and after lunch I stayed in the stands and watched races for most of the afternoon. They are getting more and more interesting as I understand them better and can keep track of what is going on. It also helps to have good earplugs so that I am not in pain or deaf by the end of the day. I finished the first Rum Runner sock Saturday morning, and continued working on #2 while I watched. I finished the toe and 6" of foot by the end of the weekend! Gotta love that stockinette foot. It was fun to have people come up and ask what I was making and / or reveal that they too are knitters. I saw one woman quilting! I am threatening to start a group called the "Crosley Crafters" for interested parties.

After all the cars ran, it was time to go to the reception, which was swanky as usual. They take good care of their drivers! The USS Ronald Regan was our host and after the awards ceremony and nibbles we got to wander around the flight deck and ask questions. Mr. Fixit was enthralled and I was wishing for my knitting, but it wasn't too cold or windy, and I learned lots of neat things, so it was still a good time. I even saw a shooting star.

We each made it home safely, tired but happy after a fun weekend. I didn't hit all of my knitting goals, but I made some progress and I got to spend lots of quality time with Mr. Fixit, which is always my favorite part of the weekend. Even better than admiring the Tiger Sunbeam. Way to go, dear!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Zoom Zoom

We are off to the races. Mr. Fixit has his racecar, I have my knitting, life is good. More on Monday!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Incredible Shrinking Woman

I am going to see a therapist on Thursday. I am excited and scared and can't really remember, now that I am a little happier, what it was that was bothering me so much in the first place. I am sure it will come back to me *ha ha*

Rum Runner sock #1 is nearly finished. Just another 1 1/2 inches on the ribbing, I think. It is my "the computer is slow at work" sock, knit in the spare moments when I am trying not to double click until my finger falls off.

Mandy's sweater continues. Progress has been slow this week, as I have taken the opportunity to work on Secret Gift #2 (which is going swimmingly). But I want to have both sleeves finished by the time I get back from Coronado this weekend.

After a couple weekends at home(ish), I am off gallivanting again. This weekend Mr. Fixit is racing at the Festival of Speed, next weekend I am at the Las Vegas Renaissance Faire with Don and Andrea of Whimsy. The weekend after that, The Soap Plantation is heading to Maui for a week or two. It is fun to go on vacations and adventures, but I have enjoyed being a blob at home these last couple of weeks.

Friday, September 28, 2007

And About Time Too

I finally figured out how to give my posts titles. I am a happier girl now.

It's Like Crack

My new favorite place is Etsy. Man-o-man. Only the need to pay the rent is restraining me. I may have had a knitting bag accident earlier this week.

My wierd moodiness continues. Everybody is right, I need to get out of this job, but I never take / find the time to go interviewing or I am so ground down that I don't feel like anybody would want me. That is a terrible way to live my life. It may be shrink time again. Or maybe I can get my doctor to write a note that I am required to sit by a window during the winter...

Martha read to us about fear in yoga class Wednesday. Geez that woman in on-topic. But it was good to get out and visit with classmates and do a little stretching. I am going to make it to Ashtanga on Sunday. I am I am I am.

Craft progress continues on the Rum Runner socks. I am well into the leg of sock #1. The cable pattern disappears into the color, but I like them anyway. Progress is stalled on Mandy's sweater (secret gift #1), but I think I will find a little quiet time this weekend to concentrate on it. I am going to pick up the fabric for secret gift #2 tomorrow and am really, really excited about it.

I also dug out the Blue BFL roving and singles and spindle (Bossie featherweight) and plied up a spindleful at Market Night last night. It was very satisfying. I started this project with the intention of making a lacy summer shawl, but it has been languishing for a couple years now. I hope that the happiness that Some People will feel about my spinning from the stash will blind them to the fact that I was not knitting on their sweater.

All righty. I had better get some work done today. Then I can go home and play Chocolatier until 3 am. Or WoW. I wonder if I even remember my password....

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Missed You and Happy Mabon

It seems as if I have been offline forever! There was some excitement this weekend in Mr. Fixit's neighborhood that resulted in a total lack of electric, gas, telephone and cable. We still had water and cell phones though. We went out to the Haute Cakes Cafe in Costa Mesa for breakfast, did some visiting with friends, knitted, and did some maintenence on the cars.

There was a bunch of crafting progress over the weekend. I finished the Saffron socks on Saturday and have less than 2 yards of yarn left - just what I intended. I went to my Hedgehog Lacers meeting and worked on my bobbin lace project - a moon in burgundy, salmon, and gold. I made good progress and worked on it Sunday when the power was out. I set up shop in the driveway. Luckily the sun was out. I worked on Secret Gift #1, which really isn't a secret anymore. It is Mandy's birthday sweater. I am still in denial about Secret Gift #2, which is still a secret and for which the challenge of finding fabric is still giving me nightmares. I hereby resolve to work on the sweater exclusively until the first of October and then work on SG#2. I also found some time to work on the Rum Runner socks. I finished the heel of sock #1 yesterday and started the leg pattern. It is slow going with with teeny yarn and size 0 needles, but it is my comfort knitting when I just need something to do and not think too hard about. Yesterday I visited with the pets and even worked on my inkle loom project - a woven drawstring / strap that I began maybe 5 years ago? Geez. I thought about ditching it, but got out the lint roller and have resurrected it. My weaving skills have really deteriorated. But it is fun, it got easier as I went along, and it got me into the bird room to enjoy their company.

I totally love the fact that it is fall now. Fina-freaking-lly. It rained Friday and Saturday (both drizzling and pouring) and it made me ecstatic. We left the window open and fell asleep listening to the music it made. Mr. Fixit made me cocoa (with milk, even! I shall never again doubt that I am loved), pumpkins are everywhere, I broke out my fall jewelry, and soon the lone maple tree by my work will change color. I am ready to hunker down at home and get snowed in. Too bad I have to go to my day job still. Something is messing with my mood, though, making me hyper sensitive when anything does not go my way. I hope it is a short-lived phase. But I have lots of fun things to look forward too - Coronado with Mr. Fixit, Las Vegas Ren Faire, the Soap Plantation's first annual trip to Maui, Halloween / Samhain, Lace Day, the Fall Into Knitting Retreat, Thanksgiving dinner, the trip to Mexico, and Yule / Christmas. Must focus on the positive!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Dammit.

I am the kind of person who does not do something if everyone else is jumping on the bandwagon, no matter how much I like it. I like things that no one else knows about so I can feel special. I put off joining the Ravelry wait list for a long time. I scoffed at those who were already in. I said, how much fun is it to look at other people's yarn? But I signed up. There were many thousands (thousands!) of people in line ahead of me. Then I waited for my invitation. For 2 months. I'll just look around and not like it, I said. I don't have to stay.

Well, it came today. I went, I looked, I was blown away. It is fantastic, amazing, gorgeous, and inspiring. And that is after only 20 minutes. I sense some photography in my future. This is worth cancelling my Netflix subscription for.

GO. Go get on the waiting list NOW. If you are already in, add me to your "friends" if you like me (pickyknitter75).

I hate it when everybody's right.

Loomacy

Remember that pile of sticks a couple posts back? It is mostly assembled into a 45" Walling floor loom. Here, for your consideration, is my Single Girl's Guide to Assembling Your Loom.

1. Lay out pieces. Move them around. Put them back. Flip them all over. Put them back. Go to bed.
2. Next day, pretend you do not see them in the living room.
3. Third day, look at laundry pile, get motivated to assemble loom. Rearrange pieces.
4. Put all cross beams in finger tight. Decide I am a ninny.
5. Decide to tighten nuts with the wrench. Have to flip loom frame over to reach bottom nuts. Forget that the 4 beams and 2 frame pieces weigh the better part of 50 pounds by now and are 5' square.
6. Flip loom over again. Put in cloth beam. Discover that it doesn't fit, and holler at the dog "I just screwed them all in!". Dog blinks, not helpful. Undo all cross beams to widen frame. Have to flip frame over to undo my wrenching.
7. Flip loom over, put in cloth beam. Retighten nuts.
8. Flip loom over, realize treadles are now resting ON the cloth beam and will not touch the floor.
9. Flip loom over, unscrew nuts, widen frame, pull out cloth beam, drop treadles, put cloth beam back in, screw frame together.
10. Flip loom over.
11. Put in warp beam. Have to step inside loom and lift over back beam because I forgot to allow for warping room behind the loom. Make mental note, move entire contraption to middle of room.
12. Go make soap from 7pm - 9pm.
13. Retighten all nuts with wrench.
14. Wrestle with castle. Step inside loom (again). Do not fall over. Get castle lined up, and realize it nests INSIDE the frame. Take castle back out, set aside. Do not step on cat, dog, or catch foot on frame.
15. Flip loom over, unscrew one side of frame (4 points). Remove cloth beam and warp beam. Set aside
16. Flip loom over, get inside with castle. Slide castle into place and slam the bolts in to hold it. Congratulate self on not needing two helpers. Decide the directions are written for wimps, block all memory of flipping the loom over from mind. Replace cloth beam and warp beam.
17. Tighten nuts finger tight. Remain in denial about lifting the now over 100 lb loom up to screw in bottom frame nuts.
18. Place harnesses in castle. They are numbered, thank the gods.
19. Put reed inside beater. Place beater over loom frame.
17. Look quizzically at the leftover pieces.
18. Repeat step 1.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Secret Gift #1, day 2

Ah, the wide open feeling of starting a new project. Everything has a bit of a rosy haze to it. The knitting will proceed swiftly, I will not run out of yarn nor have so much left over that I am annoyed, the cats will not "help" with the knitting, and I will not balk at the making up.

I chose an easy place to start. It will be a good warm up for The Serious Knitting and might even enable me to take A Knitting Shortcut later (please please please please please). Progress is swift when the rows are short.

Secret Gift #2, day -1:

Still need fabric. Sigh. I can order it online and be done with it, but will it be the right color? And I will have to wait for weeks. The other option is driving all over creation with the pattern in hand, trying to find a shop that stocks it and then praying to find the right color. Meanwhile, I can get the other materials. If I rememer to take the pattern with me to the other shop. This is the one I panic about getting finished on time. I got the cold chills when I realized it will have to go to a secondary crafter after me for the finishing up - adding 2-3 weeks to the finish time.

Must not stress out over Secret Gifts. Must craft with patience and love. I can always buy gift cards at the last minute.

Other Knitting - progress on the saffron socks continues. I think I will be able to knit until I use up every darn inch of the yarn. The rum runner socks are on hold until I finish the saffron socks - I am so close!

Monday, September 17, 2007

To Tide You Over...

Until I free the pictures from their purgatory, here is a quick synopsis of my Renaissance Weekend with Mr. Fixit. Friday- mad dash to finish laundry and dinner at Ruby's (mmmmm). Saturday - long drive up to Gilroy / Casa de Fruta, some knitting progress on the Saffron socks, an amazing amount of chatting about all things great and small, a fabulous time at the faire until closing, and passing out, exhausted, at 6:30. Sunday - part 2 of a fabulous time at the faire, a pleasant peasant lunch, and a long drive home, marred only by a headache so intense it made me cry. Advil came to my rescue and the last 1/3 of the trip was filled with chatting.


Tonight, I have a date with this:

Lucky me!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Some Days I'm the Bug...

I am drowning in the Sea of Urgent Proposals for Which I Have No Information today. The only bright spot is that I might get to drive one out to the client tomorrow, but the flip side of that is, will I get back in time to get my stuff together before we go out of town?

On a brighter note (literally), progress has resumed on the Saffron socks. I ripped out both heels yesterday and added a 1/2 inch of knitting to each foot. Then I reknit the heels and tried them on (cleverly, I knit one heel and tried IT on before I changed its mate) and they fit fine. Knitting on the leg, resuming the lace pattern, has commenced.

The RumRunner socks are my constant companion, as I am in the easy stockinette part still. I think I might get to turn the heel this weekend on sock #1. I even went back today and started a notecard so that I can make the second sock to match. It would be fabulous if I had enough yarn to make knee socks. How (Yarn) Piratey is that?

I am making plans for my upcoming craft projects. The autumn projects are Secret Gift #1, Secret Gift #2, finishing my bobbin lace moon, getting two finished cross stitch pictures framed (one for Halloween and one for Yule) and the ubiquitous woven rug. The winter projects are "Aud" (the gray sweater-only 1/3 of both sleeves, a collar, and the making up to finish), the bobbin lace fan, a fair isle sweater, and a secret weaving project for Yule gifts (2008), for which I want to spin the warp and the weft.

I am looking forward to Faire weekend with Mr. Fixit. He is new to Faire and I hope he is not too shocked. I can't wait to see my friends, eat a meat pie, drink some Guinness, sing some bawdy songs, watch the "Bold and Stupid Men", and all the other things that patrons get to do. Maybe the butter churn man will be there. Oh, and chocolate dipped strawberries.... mmmm.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Monday AGAIN?

I actually sat down with the spinning wheel this weekend and got some spinning done. At our RiverSpinners guild meeting Saturday, Dizzy Ruth guided us in making up spinning sample cards. We spun lengths of singles on each of the different whorls on our wheels, at loose, regular and high tension. Then we folded them back on themselves and attached to index cards with notes about what whorl and tension combination we used to get that yarn. It was good practice in both record keeping and making a repeatable yarn.


Then Sunday Mr. Fixit worked on the transmission from the tractor he found at a yard sale on Saturday. It was quite impressive, what with the hammering and blowtorching and welding. I occupied myself with plying up a bunch of yarns that I wound off of some Ashford bobbins that had been lying around for... far too long. I accepted that I was not going to pick these projects back up, and the best thing to do was to ball up the singles and ply from both ends of the balls. Now I have a bunch of obediently labelled skeins of useable yarn AND 4 empty bobbins. The chain-plied silk came out particularly lovely, and I think the brown romney will go well with the yarns that are set aside for The Rug Project. Speaking of TRP, Denise has loaned me Deborah Chandler's weaving video and I hope to watch that this week and get the loom warped and the yarn wound.


Knitting progress was also made on Rum Runner sock #1. I am making a stockinette foot, so it is a great travel sock.


We have been watching movies lately; some good, some not so good. "Gosford Park" is always a favorite of mine, and I caved in and bought the dvd. The 'making of' features were very entertaining. "Brokedown Palace" fell into the less-than-fabulous category. I picked holes in the plot, there were some really slow sections, and the ending was not very satisfying. "The Tesseract" (with the esteemed Johnathan Rhys-Meyers *yum*) was so scattered that I just gave up halfway through and mailed it back. It is told in a disjointed manner, which I can accept, but I just couldn't relate or feel for the characters. "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" was fun to watch.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Fall Into Knitting!

Do You Like Knitting? Do You Like Trying New Things? Take a Dive with us and... Fall Into Sock Knitting!

Come join us November 16-18 at the Redwood Hollow resort in beautiful La Jolla, CA, for three days of instruction in knitting toe-up socks. Celebrate Autumn and take some time to relax and pamper yourself before the holidays. Participants will learn how to use a provisional cast on and double pointed needles to begin a sock from the toe up and work it in the round, work short row heels and toes, and fit their socks to their feet, all while relaxing and reviving with other knitters. Bring your knitting needles - a special sock pattern and hand dyed sock yarn will provided.

Do you already have a knitting project to work on? We welcome you to spend the weekend with us at a reduced rate. Join us for food, games, sharing, and KNITTING.

Schedule:
Friday: 4 pm check in. A light dinner will be provided and we will start the weekend with our first session from 6-9 pm.
Saturday: Our morning session will run from 8-12 and our afternoon session is 1-5. Breakfast and Lunch will be provided, and we will go into town for dinner. After dinner there will be games and plenty of time for extra pointers and catch-up knitting.
Sunday: After breakfast we will have a short session from 8-10, as checkout time is 10:30. A small excursion into La Jolla will allow us to continue knitting as needed. (TBD)

Retreat Pricing:We have two cabins available which each accommodate up to 6 people. You can choose to have a room to yourself or share with a friend!
Shared King – Retreat and Class - $275.00
Shared King – Retreat Only - $230.00
Shared Queen – Retreat and Class - $250.00
Shared Queen – Retreat Only - $205.00
Solo King – Retreat and Class - $425.00
Solo King – Retreat Only - $380.00
Solo Queen – Retreat and Class - $375.00
Solo Queen – Retreat Only - $330.00

A deposit of 50% is due by September 28th, with the balance due by October 26th. The last day to cancel and receive a refund is October 15th.

Need more information? Ready to reserve your spot? Please call us at (951) 347-6572, or send an email to lisa@the-soap-plantation.com or mandy@the-soap-plantation.com (or leave me a comment with your email in it).

We look forward to seeing you in November!
Lisa and Mandy

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I Never Thought it Would Come to This...

It was too hot to knit this weekend.

I am ashamed, but at least my UFOs are not all sweaty.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Knitting Scout Badges

I saw these over at MimKnits and had to go have a looky-loo. I am in love! I know what I am going to do with my Winter now, since I am not taking another class at the local community college.

Except for the divorce badges - let's not rush things.



Monday, August 27, 2007

All The Things I Love

I had a fabulous weekend once again. The festivities began on Thursday during Market Night when I got to open my Yarn Pirate Sock Club box. The yarn is gorgeous, in a sock yarn base I have not tried yet, and the goodies are pretty fun too. I will wait to announce so it doesn't spoil anyone else's surprise!

This weekend The Soap Plantation was booked at Summergrass, a bluegrass festival held in Vista. I took Friday off work to go down early and help set up, but the motor home had other ideas. Even after it got coddled through a smog check and had a low tire replaced, it decided to be cranky and have a second leaky tire. Mr. Fixit threw in the towel and the lovely and talented Mandy held down the fort at Summergrass on Friday with her nephew and the flying screaming monkey. I spent the remainder of the day with Mr. Fixit. We visited his friend and they worked on a piston for the racecar (I brought knitting) and we went out for lunch. We tried the new Pei Wei in Tustin and I tried some Orange Peel Chicken. It was very tasty and pretty swanky for fast food. After we were done, the guys went back to work in the garage and I played a little Chocolatier and then lay down for “a minute”. I think it was dark when I surfaced again.

Saturday we got an early start and headed down to Vista. The day was easygoing and fun. We sold some soap, heard some good bluegrass, ate some yummy snack food (Mr. Fixit woos me with root beer floats. I am powerless before them), and I actually got a little spinning done. I plied 2 oz of some Merino/Tencel lace weight yarn that had been sitting on the bobbin since June and it came out very pretty; a nice peachy-orange. Then I fired my Millie up again and started on some BFL roving. I am spinning it heavier, and, gee, the bobbin fills up fast when one is not spinning lacewieght! It felt good to be spinning again. I have been focusing on knitting for the last couple of months and the change was refreshing.

We packed up for the night around 8, found our hotel, and had a tasty dinner. I am pretty sure staying in a hotel ended up being a better bet than putting gas in the motor home for the weekend.

Sunday morning dawned bright and partly cloudy, until I looked toward Escondido and saw the wall of black clouds. eek, the soap! I wailed. We drove through the deluge, arrived at the site, and I was relieved to see that the soap was high and dry. We had the farm breakfast and the sweet old ladies were flirting with Mr. Fixit right and left. We got ready to open – bluegrass fans are a devoted bunch and I did not think that the show would be cancelled – and the deluge returned, soaking the site for over an hour. We still held the high ground and were nice and dry and toasty under the pop-up tent. Soap sales were slow, but the visiting and entertaining were alive and well. Everything was bright and sunny again by noon, and Mandy joined us for the afternoon. Denise came over and tried her hand at spinning on a wheel – and did quite well!

We packed it in about 5 and headed for home. Mr. Fixit and I stopped on the way to meander around Dana Point and we had a nice time – we saw stingrays and fishies and all manner of seabirds. Lots of folks were out walking their dogs. We admired the boats and picked out the ones we would have if a) we won the lotto and b) we had much interest in boating. Then it was a fish & chips dinner at the Harborside CafĂ©, which was excellent, and watching the moon rise and the sun set. I think I may just be the luckiest girl in the world.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Sock-servations....

The "saffron" socks: these are coming along quite speedily (when I knit on them). I measured the foot quite carefully before decreasing for the heel, but I tried them on today and still they are going to be 1/2 - 3/4 short. Tonight I will be ripping back, adding more length, and re-heeling. Once that is done I just have to pick up the lace from the front and adjust stitches (if needed) to fit my leg. Easy Peasy. Knitting them does make me hungry for Mac-n-Cheese, though, as the yarn is Kraft yellow.

The "painted desert" socks: Sigh. These have been waiting on a fitting and evaluation. I found some time to do that today and the foot is a smidge loose and the leg is a smidge snug. I will try them on again tonight before deciding if I am ripping all the way back to the heel. Sigh. The yarn is so darn gorgeous, I suppose it won't be too difficult to knit them again.

The "rum runner" socks: Sock one is in progress. I started it when I needed some non-lace knitting at the races last week. I love the way it is knitting up, but progress is slow due to the size 0 needles. This is the Yarn Pirate Sock Club yarn from last month. I suspect that this month's yarn will not be distributed to me until the Rum Runners are done, which is just as well.

The "watermelon tourmaline" socks: no progress. Sock 2 is still a skein of yarn, not even balled up yet. Damn you, feather and fan. I just can't face knitting another whole sock in it.

I have a soap show this weekend at the Summergrass bluegrass festival, and perhaps I will be able to squeeze in some knitting during the sets.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Yes, This is a Knitting Blog



Much to my surprise and delight, I had a fantastic weekend at the Monterey Historics. We started seeing neat old / rare / interesting cars on the drive up the 101 Wednesday night, and it was neat to see Lambourghinis, Ferraris, Porsches, Astin Martins, and other great cars on the road to and from the event each day. Mr Fixit and I picked up our tickets and set up our "pit area" on Thursday, and I learned something right away: it is not to be referred to as "the encampment". Sorry, faire folk. I also learned that "helping" is subjective. We drove the racecar over to tech inspection and we saw Al Unser, Sr, which was pretty exciting. That evening there was a brilliant reception and much visting with Mr. F's friends. The wine was never ending and high quality. I learned that I love crab cakes with a burning passion.

Friday was warm up day for the drivers and the racecars. Jan and I watched them race from the driver's lounge and the view was spectacular:









The view of Mr. Jan, anyway. Here is the view of Mr. Fixit:








Clearly I needed to practice with the camera a little more. However, I did catch him coming past the start/finish line:







The rest of the day we moseyed about, socialized, and watched races from the Corkscrew. In the evening we went to Fisherman's wharf to see what we could see. There were boats, and crabs, and starfish, and seagulls, and sea lions, and then we saw this:







I realize the picture is teeny, but believe me when I tell you that this is a momma otter with a baby otter coming along for the ride. We watched them swim past all the boats, closer to shore, when momma let the baby float while she went to go dive for dinner. It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. That pretty much made the trip for me.
Saturday we looked at more cars. Some Bentleys:











Some H-Mods:












A Cheetah:

















... and we went out for a lovely fishy dinner with friends and family on Saturday night. I was not brave enough to try the grilled baby octopus. Sorry to disappoint.

Our big race day was Sunday, right after lunch. I got to come along for the drive up to the pit for the warmup, but for the race itself I watched from the Corkscrew:

















To celebrate the end of a great weekend, we chilled a bottle of Champayne:










And got ready for the awards ceremony. The Daniel Boone hat was the hit of the party:

On the way to pick up the trailer, I saw a bobcat, and we startled a family of California Quail. We heard accounts of foxes near the campsites - wow.
It was a great weekend. I had so much fun. I met great, friendly, interesting people and can hardly wait to see them again. I got to spend some quality time with Mr. Fixit and how can that be bad? He did a fantastic job driving us home early into the morning, and I drug myself to work nearly on time.
Knitting did occur. I promise. I now have 5 socks on the needles instead of 4. Nothing was finished however, and I have to say it was because I was having a blast. Whee!
Quickie

Thank you for the kind words about the Adamas shawl. I am quite pleased myself. It did get worn this weekend and is surprisingly warm for such a wispy looking thing.

I am back from my trip to Monterey and here at work. I am also running on 2 1/2 hours sleep last night (we got in at 3am) and about 4 hours the night before that, so am a little loopy. I will work on a long chatty post *with pictures* for later today or tomorrow.

We had a fantastic time and I can't wait to do it again at Coronado in October.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Block-head.

Last night it was likely 100 degrees in the house until about.... 2am. What is the perfect activity when you have the combination of new sheets, a trip to Monterey where it will be 65 degrees, and you live in an oven? Shawl blocking, naturally. The Adamas shawl (finished lo these many months and shoved in a drawer) went for a swim last night while I banished the furry children from the bedroom and unwrapped and installed brand new sheets on the bed. I resisted the urge to lay down and conk out, and started blocking the shawl instead. It actually fit, much to my surprise (or I did not block severely enough), and needed fewer than all the pins I own. It was a race to see if I would finish pinning or it would finish drying first, but I think it came out quite nicely.
*edit for project notes* For this project I used Alpaca with a Twist "Fino" and size 4 circular needles. It blocked out great, and ended up a hair over 6' across the top.




Monday, August 13, 2007

Goats Goats Goats

A lovely weekend was had by all... although it is being rapidly forgotten under the pressure of hating my job. Saturday Mr. Fixit took me for a bike ride, we had a soap planning meeting (there is a Big Announcement coming soon), we had our RiverSpinners meeting and I made some progress on the "Painted Desert" socks, and afterward I splashed in the pool. Two words: pool noodles. Sunday Mr. Fixit and I went to visit his friends who keep goats - nubians and alpines and la manchas, oh my! They were adorable and entertaining, and a good time was had by all. Then it was back home to battle the ants and watch some "Sunset Tan". Monday morning came far too soon.

I made much knitting progress on each of the "Painted Desert" socks. I think tonight I will take the stitches off the needles (onto a safety line of some ilk) and try them on. The pattern pulls in more and is less stretchy than I anticipated. I am hoping that I can increase by 2 st inside each of the motifs to accomodate the above-ankle, below-calf section of my leg. I would like to get them done before the "Summer of Socks" is over! I have no plans for the "Fall of Finishing Projects", although that probably isn't a bad idea...

Today I managed to work the toe of the second "Saffron" sock... and realized I left my "365 knitting stitches" perpetual calendar at home. I know exactly what motif I want on them, I just have to turn to the correct page. They are a heavier yarn on #2 needles, so should knit up quick and easy.

I made an effort to put fun events and soap / fiber shows over in the sidebar, but I don't know that I have succeeded. I will keep fiddling with it to the best of my ability.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Trigger Happy

You would think, that if I were bored all day at work, that I would be spending my doodle time constructing a fascinating, intelligent, amusing blog post with details, pictures, and links for all to enjoy. But you would be wrong! Instead I click on the same 5 blogs all day, hoping for an update on other peoples' knitting progress. Sigh.

The gray socks are DONE. I just need to get the ends woven in, pictures taken and uploaded to the blog and flickr, and the SOS post made to add them to my entries for the "most socks" contest. I am quite pleased with the way they turned out. After all my worrying that I would be short, I find that I have plenty of yarn left for a cell phone cozy or two.

The socks in the Painted Desert colorway are moving along nicely. Both heels are done, the leg pattern has been chosen, and I have over and inch of leg done on sock #1 already. I had to decrease to make the pattern come out right, and am getting some color pooling, but I am going to run with it. I really like the pattern I picked (chevron & feather) and will love them no matter how they came out.

I swatched some yarn from Sweet Georgia in the "Saffron" colorway yestrday. I thought it was time for fluffy yarn on #2 needles (= almost instant gratification) . I cast on this morning and had a toe done before I got up. I have had this yarn marinating in the stash, and find now that it is almost a perfect match for my Steelers sweatshirt which Mr. Fixit brought back from Pittsburgh. Hopefully the socks will be just as soft and snuggly.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Fat and Happy


It was a great weekend. Friday we had open spinning night, and Scott knit on his trivet and I knit on my Painted Desert socks (alternating between the two). Denise had fun spinning stories and job hunting advice. It is so nice to just sit and knit and talk and unwind from the week. I don't know why knitting is soothing, but I know it works and I like it!


Saturday was my exciting and much-anticipated trip to BlizzCon in Anaheim, and it did not disappoint. I got to try the new WoW offering: "Return of the Lich King", listen to presentations and Q&A sessions, and generally soak up the atmosphere. I am only a beginning WoWer, but I kept my mouth shut and my ears open and think I learned a lot. There may be a trip to the coffee shop tonight :) I did NOT ride the mechanical pachyderm thingy.

Sunday Mr. Fixit and I went yard sale-ing in the midday and washed the car and went to see "Harry Potter 5" in the evening. The movie was pretty good; I think it moves faster than #4 and it included many of the things I found interesting in the books, including Harry finding out how his dad treated Snape and Hermione's explanation of all the things girls think about.

Knitting did occur! I fixed Gray sock #2 and have gotten most of the leg done. If I push myself I could finish it tonight, but I think walking the dogs and then a 7pm bedtime might be in order. The Painted Desert socks are both about 6" long (toe to end of foot), so it is nearly time to turn the heels and make a commitment as to whether or not I want a pattern for the leg. The yarn is so striking it might not need one.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Stupid Day Job

I have finished the toes and am working up the feet of both Painted Desert socks. They are a smidge big, but I am not ripping them out to decrease by 4 measly stitches (1/2"). I am thinking ahead to my "cuff treatment" and am thinking about using the picot edge again. As for the actual knitting, I am watching it closely becase I love, love, love, love this colorway. It is burgundy, gold, electric blue, and shades thereof. The yarn is from Stone Barn Fibers and is the "painted desert" colorway. Pictures soon.

My homework for tonight (besides laundry, dishes and catbox*) is to look up the Spin Off article by Sara Lamb on spinning a silk warp. I have visions of silk/alpaca scarves for holiday gifts.

*And as for the cat, he got stuck in the garage again. I rescued him last night (he gets in and can't get back out the same gap), he came inside and wolfed some cat kibble, and then tried to run outside again. What a nut.