Monday, July 31, 2006

Weekend Update

Stunningly little knitting was done over the weekend - mostly because my hubby (Peggers) was gone all day Saturday and part of Sunday leaving me alone with our extremely energetic little one - aka Munchkin. So getting knitting done while corraling Munch isn't terribly easy - especially when he loves to run up to me sitting (knitting) on the couch, grab my working ball of yarn and try and run off with it while shouting "MINE! MINE!"


So once I finally got him down for a nap on Saturday afternoon & night then and only then was I able to get some knitting done. My clapotis progress isn't much - but it's giving me hope - I dropped the 8th row of stitches, and I've just-about-almost made up my mind that I'm going to stop this particular piece at 10 dropped stitch rows before I start on the decrease section. It's currently long enough for me to hold one end in my outstretched right hand and hold it all the way across my body - with the end in my left hand just past my left shoulder.

I'm thinking that I want to make it just long enough to span my outstretched arms - and that's when I'll quit with the straight row section of the clapotis & move to the decreasing rows (which means it will be that long and a bit longer when I'm finished, as the decreasing rows add on a bit of length in their own right) - and that will be a good length. Whatever exactly that ends up being. Major progress should be made on this tomorrow, for tomorrow is my heaven-sent blissful day where I work very, very late into the night hours, which means that I don't actually haul myself into work until oh, 2 or 3 PM, which means HOURS AND HOURS OF UNINTERRUPTED KNITTING TIME. Every now and then I also mix this up with housework - you know - dishes and laundry and such - but I'm planning on doing little of that tomorrow - and instead plan on some major feet-up knitting time supplimented with far too much coffee and some DVDs.

I finally got around to taking a picture of the new sock yarn that came in for J's birthday socks, and think she's going to quite like them. I was worried at first that the yarn would stripe up, but I knitted a tiny little swatch for gague reasons and was quite pleased to see that there was nary a stripe in sight.

I'm just not as pleased with this yarn as I had thought I'd be. While the colours are lovely and very clear and vibrant, I think what keeps me from just raving and loving it like I do other sock yarns I've recently bought is the yarn itself. This is just the wee-est bit flat and doesn't have the sproing of other yarns that I've bought and used. And honestly, once you go sproing-y there's just no going back.......

Friday, July 28, 2006

Unwinding Eye Candy Friday

Mizz Whites had the lovely idea of an unwinding bit o' fun for a lazy (hot) Friday afternoon. Pictures of general loveliness that are all around you. Others have rightfully so adopted this practice, so who am I to argue with such collective genius?

(Now if I could just figure out how to permanently place this cute-as-a-button button in my right frame w/out stealing Mizz W's bandwith I'd be set for this hot and lazy Friday afternoon....) :>

This is my little one way back when he was actually little (about 2 years ago) with what had been - up until that time - one of my favorite shirts. He now weighs a whopping 85 pounds, has had one broken leg (mended courtesy of some wonderful emergency vet surgery and a huge metal plate and approximately 30-some screws) and has fairly recently been diagnosed with Addison's disease. So our baby, he's a troubled one, but still happy & overall quite healthy and still can chew up a leggo or stray knitting needle (!) with the best of them...

This is - so far - my one and only tree peony plant. They grow to be quite large (4-5 feet tall) and bloom lovely huge blooms in the spring. Unlike herbaceous peonies they do not die back to the ground every fall/winter - instead they remain all lovely twisted and gnarled and very much in-place until springtime comes at which point they once again bloom their lovely papery blooms. Some tree peonies (the national flower of China) live much beyond 100 years.

I've been quite sick for the last several weeks - so sick that finally I gave in and went to the doctor in a rush of sniffly misery - and while she was lovely her diagnosis (allergies) was less than satisfactory. For let's face it, who wants to know that what is making you so miserable is something in the air that can't be treated in lovely pill form and can't be simply STOPPED? However that very afternoon I saw the doctor we discovered a minorly huge infestation of mold in my office building - something that I am extremely sensitive to. So the mold has been eradicated and I am on prescription allergy meds and between these two things (and keeping my office door closed and the window as wide open as possible) I'm no longer as sniffly or miserable as I was at this time last week. Which is good because I went to the dentist this morning to get two (TWO!!!!!) cavities filled and with approximately 18 stainless sterilized dental tools of torture shoved in my mouth at once, breathing through my nose was an absolute necessity.

(And in an interesting side-note I discovered, just as the needle of novicane was on it's trajectory into my mouth, that my new dentist is none other than the unhappily-jilted ex-boyfriend of a co-worker acquaintance of mine. And as he's putting the needle into my gum and pressing that liquid oblivion into my face he says to me, quite casual, "Ah, so you know E? How is she doing these days?" And once and only once he was completely finished giving me all of the needed numbing shots for the day did I have the courage to tell him that she, in fact, is getting married this summer. To a married man she met while she was still dating said dentist. And that they got engaged after only knowing each other a week.)

If nothing else, it was just too much of a mouthful to say when you had a needle & syringe stuck in there as well..................

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Knitters are a crazy, funky, anal group, aren't we? How many other 'hobbies' (if you can call the insanely addictive practice of looping long stretches of fiber together with pointy sticks something as innocuous as a 'hobby') do people expect to do 100% perfectly every time? I mean, no chef ever assumes that the dish will come out looking exactly like the picture in the cookbook. No gardner ever assumes that every plant they stick into the ground will live. Why oh why do we demand that we must be different? Sheesh, with some hobbies it's the imperfections that give the hobby it's zest and excitement!

I was thinking of obsessing because I met yesterday for my 2-3x/weekly knitting visit with my friend K, and she was working on her Birch shawl............still. Again. She's ripped and re-ripped this sucker within an inch of it's life a grand total of five (?) six (?) times now - and she's finally got it. And she showed me her current progress with the crowing and (understandibly) gleeful sentence "IT'S PERFECT! It has NO mistakes in it!!!" And I looked at it in awe (she's right, it's PERFECT) - - and the crazy part was that I totally understood. I totally got why she had ripped when she did before, and why - at the end of her second ball of Kid Silk (it's made w/ a total of three skeins, so she's *so*close!) if she had really screwed up - an un-tinking, un-tweaking kind of screw-up - - she'd have ripped it all the way out and started again. Again. Despite the fact that ripping out mohair, much less mohair/silk is an absolute migrane-causing nightmare. (And K? Beautiful shawl. Seriously. The hell that the multi-coloured KS has put you through is totally worth it. Next week I'm taking your picture with it!)

When I ordered 2 skeins of Sundara sock yarn (her 'cedars' colourway) I was bound and determined to find the perfect sock pattern for it. I went searching everywhere I could think of - in Nancy Bush books, in Knitty, in Magknits, in Interweave Knits, online............and eventually I stumbled upon Theresa's website and her incredibly amazing Here There Be Dragons socks and knew that I had finally found it. But was I content with that? Ohhhhhhh noooooo...... I had to search and see who else had knitted the socks. And what changes they might have made and if I liked those changes better or worse than the original........ Which is how I stumbled across Claudia's blog and her version of the socks and a picture of her "detailed short-row toe". So that started an obsession if I should e-mail Claudia and ask her by what exactly she meant by *detailed* so that I could do it exactly the same.....................

................and then I thought "good god, woman, is this really what you spend all of your free-time thinking about????"

Uh, yup.

Below is a current WIP - my silk/rayon clapotis #2 for a co-worker friend of mine made from some Limited Edition (Turkish Carpet Silk/Rayon) Interlacements. I think (think!) I'm about halfway done, as I've dropped 5 rows worth of stitches, and I'm thinking I'll only want to drop about 10 stitches worth (the pattern calls for something like 13, and I did my Silk Garden one about 16, and it turned out what I think will be a bit too long for my friend to ultimately manage) so in my mind that makes it halfway done despite the fact that the decrease section must follow after that 10th dropped row. I don't know how truly in love with this yarn I am. When I first got it in the mail it was all I could do not to run off to a deserted tropical isle with it as I loved it that much......but then I got working with it and realized that is really, really stringy. It's not spun at all - there's NO twist - it's just silk and rayon being neighborly. And woah but that is a pain to work with. And it has this very odd feel in your hands when you work with it. Gritty isn't the right word. Neither is squeaky - that's acrylic yarn to me, so it's not acrylic-y squeak-y. It's something else. And when I think of what that something else is I'll be sure to let you know.

Oh, and why the clapotis story at the end of my obsession story? Because honestly - how long do you think I trolled every living blasted website looking for non-animal yarn with which to make this sucker? I'm not even going to venture a guess - concretely realizing how much of my life got sucked away as I clicked and squinted at skein after skein after skein would only be too depressing....

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Pictures UP!

Figured out how to insert pics (in Flickr sets) of both WIPs (that's 'works in progress') and FOs ('finished objects') for anyone who would care to look. Not a compete batch of pics by any means, but at least a start!

Now I just need to figure out how to get folks to actually READ this blog! I created a blog for work - for my, uh, co-workers (as such) to read to get frequent updates on what was going on in my department - something they said they wanted - and you know, not a single person ever read it, that I could tell. Not a one.

So I - of course - have the same fear here. That I'll be writing and posting & uploading to a big ol' empty cyber-space. Maybe if I [snicker, snicker] put in all of the *important* names like Yarn Harlot (my personal knitting guru & idol), Mama-E (who I just bought a skein of sock yarn from! I'm a-checkin' my mailbox every day for that sucker, you can be sure of that!), Sundara (love love love the 2 skeins of 'Cedars' sock yarn that I bought from her - now if I could just read a pattern right I might have a WIP to show for it! -more on that later-), and 144 Inches of I-Cord (aka Meangirl Jen who I left a comment for yesterday and who actually wrote about my comment in today's post!!!!) then maybe just maybe that'll get the search engines pointing this a'way...............

Oh.....why not?

Everyone kept saying "oh, you really should start a blog - they're so FUN!"

Plus you can't decently comment on someone else's blog unless you've got your own blog address to type in. So fine - why not? I mean, it's not like I don't e-mail my friends pictures of my knitting (disasters) far too often as it is already......why not give them one spot to go to instead of clogging up their inbox???