Thursday, September 28, 2006

Yarn pr0n Friday The second



My newest acquisition. 13 skeins of Noro Kureyon in the "Deep Seas" colorway (purchased for an absolute steal). It will be a Rosedale once all the christmas knitting and the Cable Hoodie are complete.

Kureyon was never the softest yarns, but something about the colors always makes me drool.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Girls Did It!!!!!!



I found these beauties in a little nest in the backyard. Im not sure if they are all laying in one nest, or if one chicken did this all by her lonesome over the last few days, but we have eggs. They are sooo pretty too. They're a bit washed out in the photo, but they are more of a terracotta color with those lovely speckles.

I'm so proud of them.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The weekend of congestion

Ugh. It was not the bubonic plague that the girl brought home. It was quite obviously a rare and virulent form of ebola bronchitis. I'm still miserable. Apparently it was so obvious to the doctor that they gave me steroids and a breathing treatment before I even left the office. I shudder to think what my desk at work looks like today, but I may not even be able to go back until Wednesday, so we'll try not to think about it too hard.



Other than frenzied knitting during periods in which the massive amounts of drugs in my system allowed it (I'm just past the armhole decreases on the right front of the hoodie. From there it's just 2 sleeves, a hood and a button band. With any luck it will be ready for the Fall Fiber Festival. There will be knittyheads in attendance and a new sweater will be just the identifying mark to wear to attract fellow knitters.) I watched the neighbor's adorable baby Jameela, who was also sick. Despite being sick though, I've never met a happier baby in all my life. EVER. She laughed more than smiled and at only 5 months, willingly put herself to sleep whenever tired. Even her (rare) crying is sweet. Plus, she is absolutely adorable.




Truly, truly a cupcake. How could anyone NOT love this baby? I'm also pleased to report that she reached for the knitting needles on her own. With that and having already been bestowed with a hand knit sweater from yours truly, she will most assuredly one day be a knitter.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Yarn pr0n Friday





Kid Mohair Locks handspun courtesy of Fyberduck.

This is trophy yarn if there ever was one.

I'd blog more, but my lovely daughter managed to bring home what I can only guess would be the bubonic plague. After half a day at work I came home with a rotisserie chicken, ice cream, the new Spin Off and cold medicine.

I'm going back to bed to contemplate the possibilities of knitting and blogging from beyond the grave.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Who's the bitch now?

I spied recently in the back of the latest IK an ad from Acorn Street for a Fiber Trends Spring Blossom shawl kit for a really good price. Naturally in my sudden and overwhelming lace lust I bought one. I got it started the other day and everything was going beautifully, but I noticed that to get my YO's right I was wrapping them deifferently between purl and knit stitches. if I YO'd before a knit stitch, I'd wrap the yarn from behind the right needle over the needle then back between the needles. When I YO'd before a purl stitch, I would bring the yarn between the needles the over and back behind the right needle. Now, I knit English, and I've always YO"D the first way I described. But when I realized I was having to do my YO's different, and they were coming out differently, I got suspicious. I checked out Knittinghelp.com.





Lo and behold, I've been wrapping my yarn wrong this whole time. Seriously, the entire time I've been knitting I've been doing it wrong. (This shouldn't be too amazing, since when I first started, I did all my knit stitches through the back loop for at least two months before figuring it out.) Now the center of the shawl looks like this:





If you click on the picture you'll see the difference more clearly. (And check out my mad MSPaint skillz, yo!) I've decided to take the cheater's way out and just continue on, but knitting correctly from here out. The idea of ripping back all of that (mistake-free! Well, except for the bad wrapping) work makes me queasy. I think I'll just refer to it as a "design feature" instead. Besides, it's a square shawl and I figure it'' be folded in half to be worn anyways. No one will notice, and I'll never tell.



This is my triumph, however. The left front of my sweater is now complete with the cable placed correctly. Sorry for the lousy picture, but It's really not that impressive yet anyways. Give it time.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Meet the Newest member of our Family

This is Oz. She is a Goffin Cockatoo. Her turn-ons are peanuts, sitting on your shoulder, attacking circular needle cables while you knit, harassing the dogs, dancing to Jethro Tull, and self-mutilation. Her turn-offs are: Anything that keeps you from paying constant attention to her.





She belonged to my Aunt Diane, who sadly passed due to complications from breast cancer. My Uncle Mike, bless the man, did everything he could for Oz, but she began picking her chest, and now has a more or less permanent open wound on her chest (I chose not to post pictures of her chest as some might find it disturbing. I know I do.) and a lot of emotional issues from losing her owner. Mike brought Oz and his blue and gold macaw named BeeGee (this bird is an unmitigated ass. I kid you not.) up to stay with my mother. Now, I am not a bird person, but Oz is very special. She is a people too, just ask her. When everyone was about to give up on her, I suggested that mom bring her over to stay with us for a while. We're doing everything we can to help her out, and although she is still picking, we are finding more plumage on her every day. Even though she may never grow chest feathers back, we hope that one day she will be healed enough to be healthy. In the meantime, I will just hope that she doesn't get irritated enough with my knitting to bite through my circs while she's sitting on the couch with me.



And about knitting.





This is the left front of my Central Park Hoodie. Again. I got to within 1.5 inches of the neckline decreases when I realized that I had put the cables in the wrong place. ARRRRGH. So it ended up frogged back down to the ribbing and we're starting over. I can't tell you how much I hate frogging. All of the wasted work. It drives me nuts.

Which brings us to the next photo and a lesson on my lace should be worked from charts




This is the sum total of my angora scarf. 5 rows. That's it. Lace is railing at my suggestion of superiority over it. The reason? I have started and restarted the thing multiple times trying to do the lace from the text instructions, not the chart. I give in. I will try it from the chart this time. If that doesn't work, and I still can't manage this simple diamond lace pattern, my only choice will be to eat the yarn to hide the evidence of my miserable failure.



Here is what I'm currently spinning. Supposedly it it wool, but I tend to believe that it is a cloud. The bag was marked Cormo when I purchased it from Stony Mountain Fibers. Barbara claims that it came from her own flock. Don't get me wrong, there couldn't be a nice person, but it is clear to me that she is lying. She has somehow, through the use of black and terrible magic, forced clouds to land on earth and is selling them to be spun by her unsuspecting customers who become lulled and enchanted by the magic clouds. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I purchased 8 oz. I want to get a nice 2 ply fingering weight to make a shawl. I figure by the time I get done spinning all that, I might have some slightly less tenuous grip on lace than I do now. What I have on the bobbin there is lovely and uniform, but I don't think I have enough twist in it to manage a decent two-ply. Luckily it's just a tiny amount. The crimp in this stuff though calls for lots of twist so I think I'm going to have to pull out the stops and use the teeny little whorl (it's reportedly a 9:1, but I have my doubts) and try that out.

Any die-hard Cormo spinners out there have any suggestions???

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The hits just keep on coming!

I have been trying, for the past 24 hours, to figure out exactly what it is I did to piss the fates off this much. I haven't pinpointed it, but it could have something to do with the years between 16 and 23. This seems like an awfully late payback though.



I spent much of my day yesterday at the DMV. I discovered that they still do not make any sense at all. At least some things in the universe remain constant. Apparently despite being fully insured on my Jeep, I was still uninsured. I have an Oldsmobile that my father gave me. It became inoperable a few months back. We'd been using it as an extra "emergency" car when the engine finally blew. Since then I removed it from my insurance and have tried to find a charity that can use it. (I know there are a lot of "donate your car" charities, but typically I've found that most will just sell the car as salvage and take the money from that. I wanted a charity that could actually make use of the vehicle.) Well, apparently, because that car was uninsured, I have lost my license and will have to downgrade my insurance (from the ridiculously high amounts of coverage that I purchased to an SR-22 which covers just around state minimums) in accordance with state law and pay steep fines to get my license back. I'm currently appealing this, but it's the DMV. I see little hope in my appeal.



Also, the Jeep was totalled. I got a value on it today (less than what I owe, naturally) and went to get the rest of my things from it, only to find half of my things have gone missing. CD's (some are irreplaceable from our favorite local bands back home), a vintage pin, mini kleenex packs, my badge for work, and several others things gone. Just gone. Also I cannot purchase a new car now, until the whole license/insurance debacle is sorted out.



My friend who was in the car with me ended up in so much pain that she's been out of work the last few days. We're not sure when she'll be back. Luckily I'm feeling much better, but that doesn't make her feel any better.



I suppose this is one of those experiences that is supposed to make me grow as a person and have some miraculous outcome that makes me feel silly for having worried in the first place. Forgive me fates, for not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel like I've lost my freedom and even though everyone that has seen where the accident happened agrees that there was nothing I could have done to prevent the accident other than not having been there, I can't stop feeling horrible about having hurt people. I suddenly realize why the people I talk to each day at work have that hollow sound in their voices, and often try to deny that they were in the wrong. The guilt is crushing. I will eventually work through it, I know that. Today though, I'm pretty miserable.



At least I've been getting a lot of knitting done. I'm so glad I took it up. It was about the only thing that kept me calm at the DMV, although security did keep a close watch on me while I was flashing around those threatening pointy sticks.




I've finished the back on the sweater and I'm to the armhole decreases on the left front. Those little pieces just fly, but I'm sure the button band will find a way to remind me again that I'm no super-knitter.



By the way, does anyone know how I should block this? Should I block individual pieces, or get everything put together first? Will blocking in pieces interfere with the picking up of live stitches later when I put on the hood? Also, since the hood is knitted on, won't I have to block it again once I finish the hood? Inquiring minds want to know. If anyone else knows, please, please clue me in.



One last thing. Since I upgraded to Beta, I've had some mention of comments not being accepted. From what I've found, you can comment, but as "someone else". Not as "anonymous" and not under your own sign in, you just have to type in your name, it should take it. if it doesn't, please email me froux2zj at verizon dot net.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Happy Birthday John

Today is my wonderful husband's 30th birthday. For those of us unfamiliar with his particular family history, he is the first in a long line of first-born males in his family to make it to 30. Believe me when I say we have all been a bit worried about him this week. Luckily for him, I seem to have born the brunt of his bad karma. I don't mind though, If that's what it takes to keep this wonderful man in my life, I will happily suffer a crushing (forgive the pun) defeat like yesterdays on an annual basis.

In Honor of this most momentous birthday, I'll be posting lots of embarrassing pictures of him to my blog for lots of strangers to look at and giggle at in helpless amusement.

I met him when I was 15. We were in high school and I was the new girl. He greeted me with a hug that was essentially a means to feel me up. I greeted him with a full on face slap. How's that for the beginnings of a relationship?





So that you can all understand how truly dorky and weird we were in high school, here is a picture of us at prom during what I believe to be my sophomore (his Junior) year. Soooooo subversive. Ok, not really, but keep in mind that we often occupied our time speeding through the streets of Salt Lake City in his beat up Nissan listening to the Violent Femmes at levels of volume normally only found when a jet engine is working extra hard to keep a plane from spiraling out of a clear blue sky.



Then, we had this. See that little lump of a potato in his arms? That is our daughter. No, the girl does not look amused. I have never seen a man so completely smitten though, as he is with her.




This would be a picture at our first wedding. (Yes, I did say first, be patient, all will be explained.) One of our favorite pasttimes with each other has been finding ways to drive each other crazy. This particular photo shows him under the bad influence of his dear friend and ersatz mother, Shannon and about to smash cake in my face. (Now that I have found fiber, I have learned that I absolutely must forgive her as she spins.) The cake went up my nose. There were tears shed and an embarrassing tiff right there in front of both of our families. Shannon made up for it by providing us with amazing honeymoon accomplishment in her fairy tale backyard on a pile of creamy sheepskins. If you were to put either of us under a polygraph test today, we would both pass when we explained we saw what must surely have been sprites or fairies alighting and twinkling in that tree.

After a while, in an all too common for our age group realization that we just were not making it, We split up. I was pregnant with our son, and after much drama and tragedy, we each took a child and parted ways to raise them.



Since that day he has worked every day as hard as he can to make a wonderful life for our daughter. He raised her to be a stong, intelligent and capable, if flighty and occasionally annoying, young woman. His fathering is nothing short of a miracle.

Almost 2 years ago, I received a phone call. The girl was out to visit me for the summer when he called and asked if I would like to keep her for a while longer, and he would be out for christmas. That Christmas, after much discomfort and reassessment of boundaries (and a little liquor to bring down self-defense mechanisms) we found ourselves to still be as in love as that dorky couple on their way to Prom.

Our family has been put back together. He has worked his fingers to the bone and made sacrifices that most of us cannot even imagine in order to do this. He is supportive, kind and will lauigh at his own foibles, and make me laugh when pointing out mine to me. He stood by me and worried more when I had to go into the hospital than I did. He forever tells me how beautiful I am, and I always fail when trying to describe how beautiful I find him as well. He is an artist, a poet, a photographer, a lover of hand-knitted goods, a willing fiber fondler, an awesome cook, our breadwinner, and truly a force in the lives of all the people he associates with.



Thank you for all you have done, all you will do, and thank you for the beautiful children, the slightly exploded home, the hard work, and (I know it's cliche) all of the laughter and tears.

I love you with all of my heart. Happy Birthday.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Disaster

This morning was the most gorgeous saturday that there's been for a while. Cool, sunny, and the kids and I were heading out for a fun day with our friend Beth. We stopped at the local farmers market for a treat and veggies for Hubby's birthday dinner tomorrow night and treats from Valentines Country Bakery, a local Mennonite bakery. Then off to Orange to meet Beth. The Orange Street Festival was today.



This thing was HUGE. It's a small town, and I didn't expect much but the whole thing snaked off onto side streets and was a good 8 blocks or so of vendors and local businesses. Even a few yard sales! The highlight was definitely the Alpaca Garden booth. They are local breeders and the had two of their adorable babies with them. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera this morning, or I would have pictures of them. They also brought fiber with them. I picked up 4.5 ounces of Devi's fluff. She is a new girl at the farm and her picture isn't on the website yet, but it is the lovliest cinnamon color with these gorgeous striations of silver.







Once we were done at the fair, we went back to Beth's and piled into my car to head to Harrisonburg to visit a few other farmers markets, one of which carries tons of fiber and yarn. That's when This happened.




We came around a blind curve in the road and went right into the back of that poor sidekick that was dead stopped in the road. I tried to brake, but I just couldn't stop in time. Luckily everyone seems to be ok for the most part. Unluckily, the DMV decided, rather arbitrarily that I didn't have insurance, when I do, in fact carry insurance. (I work for the Insurance company!! I am required to have insurance!) They suspended my license and failed to inform me, so there we were stuck, no car, no license. That's when the people from Blue Ridge Pottery found us. The accident happened right in front of their shop, and the boy in the car I hit works there. I have never met nicer people in my life. They took the kids into the shop to calm them down, brought us drinks and truffles. Made sure we were all okay. Helped us exchange info. Let us use the phone to make multiple panicked calls. Got pictures and were kind enough to burn a cd with the images for me. Then they let us hang out on their front porch in the cool breeze to calm down until my parents came out to get us, we were invited in to the shop, but I figured I'd just end up breaking something since the nerves finally kicked in. On top of it all, their pottery is absolutely gorgeous. While the Adrenaline was still running high, I bought hubby a lovely piece for his birthday. It's all wrapped up though, so I will get pictures of that later.



Come monday though, it 's going to be a fun day of sitting at the DMV getting this drivers license business handled then getting out to get a rental car. I'm hoping against hope that the Jeep can be fixed, but the airbags deployed, so who knows.



It's now time to go eat ice cream and knit and try not to think what a mess this all is. A few hours of denial will be good for my soul.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Oooooo Fancy Schmancy

I upgraded to the Blogger Beta thingy. I am so glad. Now I can add things without trying to dredge up years forgotten HTML code and feeling like a dolt. This is truly Dolt Friendly.

Don't mind me, I'll be playing for a bit.

Regards,

The Dolt

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

What a jackass.

No, really. I am. I start this whole blog thing and realize that I cannot seem to update it on a regular basis. Oh sure, I can read blogs. Other peoples of course, on a basis so regularly that I could probably tell you what color their underwear is. It seems, however, that I cannot manage to post regularly. Naturally it does not seem to help that I will spend time writing a blog entry nothing short of brilliant, and Blogger will decide to eat it. Naturally I have not saved said blog entry prior to posting, and in my disgust with the internet at large, I wander off for more than a week.

Well no more.

I am making a commitment to blog much more regularly from here on out. Alright, the few people who read this thing can stop laughing now. I will even save my entries prior to uploading, just in case Blogger is feeling finicky. This time I really mean it. Really.

So in honor of this commitment, I will treat you all with pictures of my current WIPs. You lucky devils.


This would be the back of a sweater. Not just any sweater, mind you, this is the Central Park Hoodie. I can't tell you how much I have loved this sweater since the moment I laid my eyes on it. I started it on Sunday. I am already 12.5 inches up the back. Yes, I know, this must seem painfully slow, but I am a painfully slow knitter. I'm actually quite impressed with my progress. Only 2 more inches before I can start the decreases for the arms. I decided to knit it in Tivoli Bainin Tweed. It is an apparently discontinued yarn. This is a sad, sad thing. I love it's rustic sheepiness. I love how the lanolin feels in this yarn. I just know it will bloom and be utterly lovely when it is blocked. I also adored the price. I purchased it from Jen at Busy Hands Yarn. Apparently she is going out of business, and I find this terribly sad as she is a doll. Do yourself a favor and go buy her out of something. I did. I feel much better for it.














Well Looky what we have here, If it isn't the angora. And what is that I also spy? Is that a Fiber Trends Pattern and a pair of Brittanys? Why yes, yes it is. Lace will be my bitch. I swear it utterly. With the completion of the Branching Out scarf, I feel ready to take on the world. Or at least another lace pattern. Wish me luck, because if I mess up this yarn. That's it. I'm positive I will never make yarn look quite like that again.


















Last, but certainly not least. I finished the first of my handpainted traveling socks. They are knit on size 2 Susan bates DPNs out of some random thrift store wool that I dyed myself. I call the colorway, "Long Canyon" after a place by the same name in Moab, UT. (Look at that. I named a colorway. This is all a part of the master plan to finally commit to something in my life and eventually begin dyeing fibers and yarns for sale. Once I get this blogging thing in hand, that is.)

I typically knit on these during my lunch hour at work, or while waiting in line. If you've read my blog recently, you'll know that I've been in training classes a lot recently. The other girls have watched this sock from the beginning. None of them is a knitter. They have all mocked me for not starting the second sock yet. How the hell did they find out about Second Sock Syndrome????? (sigh)

Looks like I need to stop blathering and go spend some quality time with the ball winder.