Thursday, August 19, 2010

Toys! Squeee!

I got home this afternoon from my Thursday volunteer 'obligations' (can you call it that when they're this fun?) to find this:

Toy box!

Squee! New yarn! The stuff I ordered this past weekend is here already! Here's what I bought myself.

Three skeins Knit Picks Shadow in Queen Anne tonal. Ooooh. It's actually a bit more orange in real life (it always seems slightly pinker in photos), but I still rather like it more than I feel I ought.

Three skeins Knit Picks Shadow in Canopy tonal. This came out a bit more yellow and just a smidge faded in photo. The actual green puts me in mind of malachite--which I love. I'm going to have fun with this one!

And two skeins of Felici in Time Traveler. Did you honestly think I could resist a sock yarn dyed in the colors of my favorite nemesis, the Doctor Who Scarf? Now that we're getting closer to autumn, I'm going to have to devote a day or two to finishing up my thin version (I don't like folds of fabric touching my neck--weird, yes, I know--so I made my personal scarf half as wide) and then maybe make a Wibbly Wobbly Cowl or something similar from this.

Or maybe I'll go insane and try socks again. I've got enough yarn here for (probably) two knee socks, which would suit in some inexplicable fashion.

We'll see what is to be seen. As of now, though, the stashing has ceased until some of this yarn I have is knitted up. I've cleaned out my yarn collection so that it fits in one (very large) container, I don't want to have to buy another yarn tub to replace the ones I just gave away!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my birthday, and I've been making hay while the sun shines, as they say. I bought myself some nice, new yarn (which is not here yet--I am anticipating a Thursday arrival.) I'll be back then to show you the new pretties. Mother gave me some cash and had me order my own presents from BBCAmerica shop (I got a Brown Betty and a cookbook.) I also went and got a make-over at the local Sephora, bought a new face. I scheduled a mani/pedi for tomorrow (no openings today, alas). I'm totally going all out on the pampering bit, but I deserve it. I've done some mental heavy lifting this year and found myself after many years apart. And, frankly, I'd like to be pretty. It's not every day a girl turns my new age!

Anyway, my mom made me a pineapple upside down cake for my birthday. It was heavy and moist--reminded me a bit of a sticky pudding, actually--and delicious. I had...well, let's just say I ate way too much of it. Mmmm.*

See? Here's my first slice, with the glass of milk used to wash it off my back teeth and the jump drive containing my magnum opi (I've got at least two embryonic books on there) on my hella messy desk. Eh, it's home.

Dog has been contriving to act like a toddler lately. He's been snubbing his food! It's been years since last he did that (time was, he wouldn't eat the same food for more than a month at a go; nearly died of it, actually, when he got pancreatitis from the constant changes) and I can't decide if it is just that the last food was that good, or if he's just feeling his oats and is not afraid of snubbing chow. Either way, it's a pain in the arse--getting him to eat has turned into some sort of power play on his part, and for a while there I was afraid he was ill (until he stole my mother's dinner and snarfed it down, proving it's not all food he hates, just his,) which made it difficult for me to knit. Inconsiderate! But I have been doing some knitting and will get back to that as soon as the yarn arrives.

Toys! I love birthdays.

*Hey! There's vitamins in the pineapple. Not so much in the sour cream or butter or sugar, but the pineapple is good for you. Very good for you. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Ok, so my swatch has dried. Actually, it dried out on Sunday, but I had to flash it around to my family and knit coven before I show it here. I'm really not quite sure what I'm going to do at this point, but for your edification:

Someone was kind enough to display it for me. He really, really did not like having a swatch of knitting on his head on a day when the temperature topped 90 but it felt like 110, but he got a freeze-dried chicken treat for his acquiescence, so it all evened out in the end.

Of course I buy my dog's compliance; what sort of weak willed, broken-spirited creature are you harboring in your home that you don't?

Anyway, here's a close up:

The patterns are from a book I found on Project Gutenberg, and are called (left to right): Rain Pattern, Pearl Pattern (modified by me) and Pearl Pattern (proper; I didn't like it much hence the modification on the fly, since the Pearl Pattern is the cast on end). Rain Pattern looks like a bog-standard chevron, so why call it rain, and the Pearls referred to in the other pattern's name are actually purls, not the jewels. I rather like the looks of the modified version and actually think it would be simple to convert to a top down shawl pattern. And it's garter based, so no rolling! Sweet!

Of course, this leads to a conundrum. I know there is a method around to block acrylic, called in charming fashion, "killing", but I sort of like how it looks on those needles, as is (because I can tell you there was no change in the swatch between the before and after on regular blocking attempts) and it's not going to roll at the edges. So, I can either just knit it on size 5 needles and leave it as is, or knit it on size 5s, kill the acrylic out a bit larger and more open, and hope I don't set the house on fire in the process. Because that is, as always, an actual option when I and irons are involved. Hmmm. A conundrum, indeed.

Well. There is the fire risk where irons are involved, so perhaps not so much of a conundrum after all.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

To quote the little cardboard boy, I learned something today

Several things, actually. One thing I've learned, to my dismay, is that Benedryl anti-itch spray does not work on feet and ankles. My local symphony orchestra does outdoor concerts in the summer and my friends and I attended Friday night. My ankles and feet (foolishly on display in sandals) got absolutely eaten up by mosquitoes. Having such a nasty itch on the top and back of one's foot, and not being able to stop it, is unbelievably frustrating. Tonight I finally found a temporary cure: I have some antibacterial ointment for my dog's skin issues that has a topical pain reliever. Finally. Finally, I can sit still! Ah, blessed relief.

I also learned that Paton's now produces a lace weight yarn that is sold at big box stores. To whit:

Colorway Wood Rose. Very pretty. I picked up two of these today on a whim, and swatched with it. The yarn is primarily acrylic (naturally, considering where I bought it), with wool and mohair added in. I'm not sure how successful the yarn will be as an actual lace yarn, what with all that plastic, but it was inexpensive enough that I'm willing to try it out. I swatched and am attempting to block, and will report back later. Even if it doesn't block out, I'm sure much ground could be gained by just using a much larger needle than called for and faking it.

This lesson probably shouldn't count because I learned it earlier this week and not today, but I'll go with it anyway. I have learned I can be trusted in a yarn shop. A proper yarn shop, with pure silk laceweight and alpaca/lace/mohair blends. I went to my LYS because I'd finally got a little money and was about to pop with desire for something new. I took the Phew, primarily because he was already over at the house, but also because he has excellent color vision and coordination abilities. A side effect of the artist genes, I suppose.

Anyway, the yarn I really wanted (and had hidden away the Friday previous when I went in for a consult on another matter) was gone (curses! Someone dug through the Malabrigo bin and found the two skeins of lace in Dusty Rose!), so I had to adjust. I got this instead:

More Baruffa Cashmerino. This time in purple. It's darker in real life than that picture, although I'm glad to see that it came out purple at all--in my camera's screen it looked royal blue. I love that stuff. Excellent mileage for the cash (1460 yards for $17 at my LYS) and it's soft as buttah.

I point out the Phew's color ability to explain the purple yarn. I have other purple yarn but this is a lighter shade than I've ever tried before. It's on the edge of purple shades I can wear without looking seriously ill, and I rely on Phew to check this sort of thing for me. He really is excellent at it (and since he can see the difference between blue and purple in all their shades, unlike many men, he should be). I think he did an excellent job, don't you?

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I have missed most of my walkies this week. Mainly because two days of the five were spent hauling boxes up and down three flights of stairs, vacuuming floors and dragging heavy items across two driveways in an effort to move one sister's belongings out of her house and to the other sister's garage before the new renters take over sister one's house. I figure that counts for my exercise requirements for the week. On the plus side, after all that stair climbing, I had no aches or pains (merely a tightness in the lower calves; I tend to bounce up stairs, not climb), and I actually sweated.

To understand why that's a positive, you'd have to know that I haven't sweated in nearly a decade. I did a year long diet when I was 28 that absolutely destroyed what metabolism I had, and for the subsequent 8 years my body temperatures didn't go high enough to require me to sweat, even in the hottest of hot summers. Air conditioning made me feel as if my skin were peeling off, I would get so cold. But this year, I've actually been uncomfortably hot. Air conditioning feels good, not torturous. And my scalp is feeling my pain, as the return of prickly heat and a mild case of tetter have made it necessary to wash my hair daily--which I also didn't have to do before. I am greatly encouraged.

Anyway, I've finished up the scarf pattern, but I don't really have a good software package to print out the charts. I'm going to have to work on that, actually. Here's a finished product, post blocking picture:Using Nieceling as the model, because golly, she's way prettier than I am or ever have been. Time was, she looked so much like us (her father's family), you'd think she'd been cloned, but now she's the (very pale) spitting image of her mom! Funny how nature works that way. In any case, this is her on her 15th birthday. Awwww. She was a good sport and wore my wool/alpaca blend, heavy worsted weight scarf in midsummer so I could get a picture of the whole thing on a person. She got a lot of swag, and we were nice to her in front of her boyfriend, so she could afford some generosity.

Anyway, the scarf is lovely and warm, and currently residing safely in my cedar chest of yarn joy until it's required again. I'm currently writing the instructions long hand while I try to figure out if I can post the charts or what. Technology, she is not a kindly goddess.

I have lots and lots of pictures, both in-progress and finished product, so I may opt out of the chart altogether and just long-hand it. Might be better that way. I'll have to think on't.