Monday, September 20, 2010


Is ignorance bliss? No, Magnus is bliss. Sorry, I've got that commercial stuck in my head and it won't go away. It doesn't help that it's Kevin Spacey doing the voice over (he's one of my favorite actors) or that I find myself giggling over the "Magnus is bliss" line.

I have it running through my head because through various levels of misadventure, willful ignorance and an inability to realize there are questions I should be asking when information is not forthcoming, I had to replace my tires today, 50,000 miles early, to the tune of nearly $500. Ow. Sort of makes my whine about spending $27 on yarn two weeks ago look a bit cheeseparing, doesn't it? At least now I know about proper tire maintenance (mostly) and can be careful with these tires. Considering (yet another thing I learned today, oh, the learning experiences, they just roll on in, don't they) my car has a specialized suspension which means I can only put one brand/one style of tire on my car successfully, I also know that, in four or five years or so, I will have to spend another $500 on the same damn tires. Fabulous. Oh, well. Forewarned is forearmed!

So, whatever. I've dismissed it now from my world and move on. I actually finished a project last week! Huzzah! I actually made the scarf for Nieceling's competitions. It ended up being nearly 10' long and about 5" wide (yes, ten feet long, five inches wide), and the colors actually work well together, I think. I used two skeins of I Love This Yarn!--one called Tangelo Stripes (sorry, no linky on that site) and the other is Navy Tweed. For the scarf, I used one strand of each color knit together on a US 35 circular, cast on 7 stitches then just knit in garter stitch for, well, nearly 10 feet. The fringe is about 10 inches all told, so a little over 9 feet of garter stitch. Fringed it up and voila! Scarf. I had a lot of yarn left after that (over half of each skein) so I did mitts. Garter stitch rectangles with the doubled up yarn on size 13 US needles, seamed up the sides with a hole left for the thumb and then I picked up stitches at the bottom and did a ruffle on each one, so I can fold them over and have a draft catcher at the edge of my sleeve. After all that, I still had a lot of yarn left, so I doubled up again for an inch of 2 x 2 rib on the 13s, then started striping on the body of the hat, alternating colors (still on 13s, so the knit got nice and loose.) Knit for six or so stripes straight (so it makes a tube), seam it up, fold the corners of the seam in to the center and plopped a bobble on top. At that point I had finally (FINALLY) used up all the yarn, except for about three feet that was in chunks because it was ends that had been snipped off after being tied off for whatever reasons there might be.

Maybe it's a little overboard, but the colors are non-specific enough that I can just wear the hat and scarf together as a set and no one need know. Anyway, here's my Ravelry project shot and an extra shot of the hat:

You know, I really like that Tangelo Stripe yarn. Very pretty colors. The colors work well together, though, and I think you get the gist of blue and orange and white pretty well. The yellow may be a bit of a distraction, but eh. It's not obnoxious or anything.

I haven't heard what the Nieceling's reaction is to the set, apparently she had one. I just hope she doesn't think her auntie has gone stalker or something. I figure, hey, my high school experience was such that I didn't get to enjoy school spirit at ball games and the like (I went, to be sure--I like football--, I was just one of those jaded, cynical hipsters who was too cool to cheer) so I get to have a little rah-rah-rah now.

Is that so bad of me? :-)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

OK, I need to quit this.

I got it into my head last night, as I attended a school event in which Nieceling participates, that I need a school colors scarf. Her school colors. I had the impression that her school had one set of colors, my brother had a different set of colors, so I looked it up. Her school has two colors proper and an accent color.

Wow. I feel sorta...deprived. My high school only had two colors. *sad face* Perhaps we were too poor of a district to afford an accent color? *snerk*

Anyway, I finally found some yarn that I liked in colors that are sort of appropriate (it's hard to find orange yarn that doesn't also have baby clown barf colors as well) and then....

I don't know if I told you the tale of my beloved Malabrigo Lace. And a quick review on another tab shows that I did make mention, August 8th, of two skeins of Malabrigo that I buried at the bottom of the basket which the LYS owner uses to display the Malabrigo lace (seriously, that's not smart at all--it ends up all over the floor when you dig to the bottom for stuff, and I do, oh, yes, I do dive headfirst into the basket of yarny goodness) that someone else managed to dig up and buy before I could get back. I was heartbroken. The color, by the way, was actually Damask Rose, not dusky rose as I mistakenly typed the first time. Embiggen that picture, and it's fifth row down, last on the right. Beautiful, and I don't like pink, by and large.

Anyhoo, I go into the LYS today to find orange yarn and some other colors, and find three skeins of my Damask Rose Malabrigo! Alas, my deposit has not yet come down from the Banks That Be (I keep forgetting the weekend is MONDAY, that does make a difference when calculating that sort of thing), but they're holding it for me. I may have a check at some local big box stores--the colors I'm searching for are apparently not high end this season--before I go back and finally, finally, claim my Malabrigo.

But this insanity must stop. Do you have any idea how much lace weight yarn, much less Malabrigo, I own? Neither do I. I'm not joking. I've got a ton of pictures in my Ravelry 'stash', but it's not at all accurate. I keep saying, I'm going to stop stashing. I'm going to stop stashing. I have enough yarn, I could knit for years off my stash, I need the money to buy my financial freedom from corporate wage slavery, I'm going to stop stashing, and do I ever change my ways? No. This Malabrigo debacle is just the latest in a string of foolish yarn (and, really, let's be honest and just say general) purchases at a time when I really need to be saving up every penny I can find for the very rainy day that's coming in mid-December. The Deus Ex Machina is being withdrawn into the flies, and I'm going to have to go back to paying all the bills with my skills and labor, for realz this time, and I think a big savings cushion will be paramount at that stage. If nothing else, a big savings can provide a most excellent pillow at night.

I need to put a sign up or something, something to remind myself that the money is very definitely finite, and I really, really, really need to grow up on this point. Well, and I need to get off my arse and actually do the things I said I would dedicate this last bit of complete freedom to doing (well, I've sort of done some of the things, but not the big, scary ones, which is really inexcusable).

How does a big, yella chicken change her feathers? I'm not sure, although tomorrow I am dedicated to my new working schedule (and should have no interruptions, other than picking up my yarn--yes, I'm a bad girl and I'm committed to it now and I've been stalking that Malabrigo for a month now, suck it up and deal), so perhaps I'll feel a little better about myself then. Maybe.

Oh, don't get your tailfeathers in a bunch, $27 is not going to break my bank or totally ruin my savings plan, it's just the overall trend. I think that I'll bag up my yarns an stick them in my stashtainer and then try to forget, for as long as possible, that there are things called 'yarn shops' or 'craft stores'. We'll see how long that lasts.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Last week.... Well, the less said the better. I won't go into detail, because no one really wants the dirty details, do they?, but suffice to say bad things happened, and I was unable (thanks to pinched nerves) to type. Bad enough to have bad things happen, but to be kept from my consolation? Just made it worse.

Anyway, we're moving on now. My hands only ache when I type for over an hour (I'm only at 15 minutes and counting at present), the tingles from my migraine meds are fading rapidly (did you know that if you take an Imitrex when you don't really need one, the side effects are vastly more disturbing than if you'd needed it? I didn't. I do now) and I've had some raw cookie dough today. All is (mostly) right with the world, or at least as right as it can be.

I finally decided not to bother with charting my scarf pattern--I don't have the proper software, and it's too confusing when I try to do it in Excel--so I'm going to try and type it long hand. Let's see how this goes, shall we?

Walled Garden

The scarf features a garden of knitted flowers on a reverse stockinette background, surrounded by seed stitch walls. Knit slightly looser than the gauge called for on the ball band, the scarf flows while still letting the buds pop from the background.

Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas, Worsted Hand Dyes, 2 skeins Petunia (200 yards of what I'll call a heavy worsted weight)
Needles: It's been a while, but I'm pretty sure I used a US 8 for this.
Gauge: As you like it. Mine came out something close to 3.75 stitches per inch. I'd recommend a looser knit rather than tighter (particularly with the Blue Sky Alpaca), so adjust your needle accordingly.

Notions: stitch markers, needle to weave in ends.

B=border (K 1, P 1, K 1 or K 1, P 1, slip 1 if it's the last stitch of the row)
M3=in the next stitch: K1 back, K1 front, K1 back before dropping stitch from left needle
K3Tog=knit three stitches together (closes the flowers)
pm=place marker. I used two different sets of colored markers so I knew which ones applied to which row. I have pictures, but they're on my other computer, so look for the pattern to be updated soon.

Cast on 23 stitches in your favorite cast on style.
Work five rows of seed stitch (K 1, [P 1, K 1] to end, slip last stitch purlwise
(The borders are seed stitch, K 1, P 1, K 1. Wherever it says B always K, P, K.)
Maintaining the 3 stitch seed stitch border (B) on each row, start 8 row pattern:

Row 1: B, K 17, B

Row 2: B, pm, P 4, pm, M3, P 3, M3, P 3, M3, P 4, B (you will have 6 extra stitches after this row)

Row 3:B, K 4, P 3, K 3, P 3, K 3, P 3, K 4, B

Row 4: B, P 4, K3Tog, P 3, K3Tog, P 3, K3Tog, P 4, B

Row 5: B, K 17, B

Row 6: B, P 2, pm, M3, P 3, pm, M3, P 3, pm, M3, P 3, pm, M3, P 2, B (you will have 8 extra
stitches after this row)

Row 7: B, K 2, P 3, K 3, P 3, K 3, P 3, K 3, P 3, K 2, B

Row 8: B, P 2, K3Tog, P 3, K3Tog, P 3, K3Tog, P 3, K3Tog, P 2

Repeat stitch pattern until you have just enough yarn for the final 5 row seed stitch border, ending on row 5 (if you like symmetry, like I do). Bind off, block and wear in good health!

Let me know if you find any errors in the pattern or if you have any questions.