Friday, March 28, 2008


Late yesterday I decided to give myself the day off. Turned out to be a good plan since it snowed nearly all day. Real winter snow, not that wimpy spring crap, no siree! So I spent the time in worthwhile pursuit - wrestling my knitting demon...


I hate seaming. I hate seaming with a fiery passion that is fiery. But I love knitting sweaters. Go figure.

So I got up, had my coffee, put in a load of laundry, and set to. I worked almost non stop from about 9:30 until just now - so about 6 hours. And here's what I've got.

Both sleeves hemmed, both sleeves seamed, one sleeve attached to the body. Note the Knit Klips (a recent purchase and my new favorite item), The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques by Nancie Wiseman, and a towel for a)throwing in a tantrum and/or b) mopping up tears. ;-)

The thing about seaming, apart from it being much too much like sewing and very little like knitting, is that it's the moment when I have to admit that I'm getting older. The eyes just do not focus very well anymore on something as fine as seaming. I think it's time to think about one of those clamp-on-the-edge-of-the-table magnifying light thingies. It's that or bifocals. :-(

But all in all I think I did a fine job. The hemming was not as bad as I'd feared and actually goes pretty quickly - it's a lot like weaving in ends when you think about it. Just don't remind me that I still need to do the entire bottom edge. And I had to tear out one side of the sleeve to fix a pucker, but other than that it went pretty smoothly. Slowly, but smoothly. And if I do say so myself, that's a damn fine seam...

Yes sir, a damn fine seam.

Now where's my martini...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Ten Things About Me.

1) I'm a member of the Framingham Heart Study.
2) I tore down and rebuilt the engine on my '76 Harley FXE. I wish I still had it. :-(
3) I can name most New England birds on sight, if not by song.
4) I have never fired a gun.
5) But I used to own one.
6) I hate bowling. Passionately.
7) I love football. NFL or College (GO GATORS!)
8) I love antique clothing (1890s-1920s). The lacier the better.
9) I had an enormous collection of Breyer horses as a kid. Seriously, like more than 50.
10) I would love to learn to fly a plane.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Can't blog now.... knitting!

I've been way too obsessed with finishing Rogue to do anything else this past week. But it's paid off - I'm finished knitting! Seaming and hemming don't count...

I was really worried about the hood before blocking. It was sort of lump and weird at the top, but it looks fine now. The yarn (Paton's Classic Merino) washed up unbelievably soft. I am very very impressed and will use this low-cost alternative again.

The cables came out soooo pretty after blocking. See?

I was hoping to start seaming today (Sunday), but I just don't think they're dry enough yet. The arms are close, but the body has a ways to go yet. I'll put the fan on them overnight tonight and that should help. With the days getting longer now, I may actually have enough daylight after work to get this put together before next weekend. The only thing I still need to look up is the details of doing the hem. I don't actually have I?

I've done other knitting as well, of course. My favorite martini and tv-watching knitting:

Two more Lizard Ridge panels. I am racing towards the finish line on this project and I confess I'll be sorry when it's over. I need THREE last skeins of Silk Garden and I'm done knitting. I'm ignoring the fact that I have probably a week's worth each of seaming and crocheting to do, so please don't remind me. The square on the right is color 87 (I had to dig through every single skein at my LYS, A Loom with a View, to find one with that much yellow!), and the one of the left is all leftover scraps from other squares. I am nothing if not frugal.

Beyond that, I finally got Kate's gift in the mail, unwittingly a day after her birthday, so that was pretty cool. I sure hope she likes it. Next up is Annie and I'm embarrassed to say I'm still torturing myself about what to knit for her. The Mister had a good suggestion today, which I'm going to think about during the week while staring at my stash on Ravelry.

Next up in the knitting queue:
  • Joan McGowan Michael's Racer Back Tank from Knitting Lingerie Style. I'm doing it in Knit Picks Shine Worsted in Coral, Reef, and Sunflower in a Fibonacci sequence stripe. And it will be a little longer to cover the... ummmm... fishbelly white tummy. Heh.
  • Socks for The Mister - probably An American in China from Knitty in the Spunky Eclectic beefy sock yarn I won in the raffle. His feet are a bit larger than the pattern, so some adjusting will have to be written up before I start. I'm going to teach myself Magic Loop on this.
  • My first of many knitting projects for the impending grandbaby - Marie Grace's Baby Shawl. My intention right now is to knit it in Bebe Cotsoy. I just need to decide on a color. I'm thinking either steel blue or light teal. I fondled this yarn at A Loom with a View and it is incredibly soft and squishy. And it's machine washable (granted, delicate cycle and cold water, but still...) so I think it's an acceptable substitute for the non-baby-compatible alpaca suggested in the pattern. It would be awesome in alpaca, but I wouldn't do that to new parents. It's just cruel.
Totally unrelated: we pride ourselves here at The House of Naughtiness on our beverage inventions. Last year it was Pink Drink (frozen strawberries, strawberry/white cranberry juice, a splash of orange juice, Absolut Citron, a dash of Triple Sec, and a splash of fresh lime). The year before that it was The G Spot (basically a Cosmo made with strawberry/white cranberry juice). Our first offering for this year, thanks to The Mister and Miss Katherine, is a special holiday treat...

Peeps and Champage!

Happy Easter, or Oestara, or just a nice First Sunday of Spring everyone! Enjoy!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Rescue 100 - Soapbox alert

*begin soapbox*

I've recently become addicted to reading Fugly Horse of the Day, and last week there was a story that just killed me. A breeder of Polish Arabian horses in Canada had his entire herd of 101 horses seized by authorities for abuse and neglect. You can read the whole sad story here. When they got to the farm they found 27 dead horses and 101 in terrible condition - so bad that 4 more died in the following days. The whole herd was slated to go up for auction, meaning that most likely the majority would have ended up at the slaughterhouse. Thanks to Fugly and others, the Canadian Arab world got together and saved them all. They are currently undergoing rehab at Keno Hills, a large farm nearby, and will eventually be adopted out to good homes.

In the meantime, a foundation has been set up to care for them - Rescue 100 - and they need help. If you live in Canada in the Alberta area, think about volunteering some time. Or hay. Or grain. Whatever you have.

If you're like me and nowhere near Alberta, consider sending some cash. They're accepting checks now and will shortly have a PayPal account set up to accept donations.

This kind of story just breaks my heart. Kudos to all involved in saving these animals, but isn't it sad that the only reason these horses are getting such a great opportunity for a second chance is because of their value. If these were plain old backyard breeders, they'd already be at the auction, with most going to slaughter.

*end soapbox*

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Decisions, decisions

This week I got in some more Ravelry swap yarn, and a bonus of two skeins of Spunky Eclectic Beefy Sock in the colorway Good Morning! I won them in a raffle from Kate's blog where she was collecting donations for Leukemia research in honor of her brother - they raised over $2000!! Here's the yarn:

I'm completely incapable of doing this yarn justice. It's turquoise and plum and everything in between. And it has a very high squishiness factor. The Mister took one look at it and claimed it as his own. "Socks! for ME!" he squealed. So socks it shall be. Knitty's Spring 2008 patterns just came out and I think I am going to knit An American in China. I think they're exactly what he wants in a sock - not too fancy, but extra soft and cushy on the pawpads. ;-)

In sweater news, I've gotten through almost all of the interesting bits of Rogue. This week I've finished the bottom parts of the sleeves (I'm doing them 2-at-once on a long circ) so now comes the boring knit-while-watching-TV part. Ah well - at least it's looking very nice...

I'm still debating what sweater to start next. I'd like to get going on The Mister's Patrick, but that's an awful lot of grey for this time of year. I may go ahead and get started on my Autumn shawl instead; it's much brighter! Although there are baby sweaters that need knitting, but since he's due in July, and I won't expect he'll need much outerwear until September, I'm convincing myself that it's acceptable to procrastinate! ;-)

I also started washing and blocking my Lizard Ridge panels. My god what a difference! They're coming out at almost exactly 10" x 13", which means I'll need 25 panels to make a decorative blanket for our bed (5 panels wide and 5 panels tall will give me 50" x 5'5"). That will just cover the top with a little hanging over all sides. I think I'm going to stop there and get on to something else. I'm up to 19 panels now, with one more on the needles, so I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. When I get some decent daylight in the bedroom, I'll get a shot posted of the finished panels in position. It's very encouraging!

And don't think I've forgotten about my Knit it Forwards - Kate's is nearly finished. I need a bit of ribbon and 15 min to sew it on and I'm done! Annie's I've considered and abandoned several ideas, but I think I'm getting closer to making a decision. It may be raining here, and the official end of winter is next week, but she's in Canada, so by my calculations I've got a good two more months before her winter ends!


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Nuthin' much

All I've got to show you is another Lizard Ridge panel. This one is from yarn I swappped for on Ravelry. Thanks Kim!

I have been totally obsessed lately with the swap feature on Ravelry. It's been great to get rid of some of those single skeins of yarn I collected up before I knew better, and I've added a couple of skeins of Silk Garden and some Knit Picks Shine Worsted to my own stash. The Shine is destined to become a summer top for myself. The yarn is just so soft and colorful and, well...happy. I'll keep collecting up skeins in Reef, Sunflower, and Coral and see where it takes me. Maybe I'll get lucky and end up with enough for a little stripey summery cardigan.

I have loads of knitting plans and absolutely nothing is getting done. I've started the sleeves for Rogue (two at once) and I'm basically done with my Pay it Forward for Kate, I just need to finish it up this weekend. It involves sewing so... yeah, I've been a little afraid to dive in. Not that I can't sew... I can manage to sew a straight line on the machine, and I can even seam a sweater or patch The Mister's favorite quilt without too many tears, but it's not something that I can do easily. But this weekend I will get this gift finished! Kate deserves a little treat... she's had alot to deal with this year.

Next up will be Something For Annie. I'm a bit intimidated by knitting something for someone who is so obviously ahead of me in the game; dying and selling her own yarn and all. I've had a few ideas but have tossed them all, which is why I missed my end-of-February deadline on this one. If anyone has any ideas, I'd be grateful if you'd share them. I am totally stumped right now.

In weather news, it's been pouring buckets here, which isn't that unusual for March. We lost power for a while last night, and most of my neighbors are starting to get water in their basements - again, not unusual for our riverside location in the early spring. The good part is that all that rain has started to soften up the ground and we're just beginning to see the tips of crocus peeking up in my neighbors garden. :-)

Another sign of spring - the bald eagles have been hunting along the river, although not in as great a numbers as we've had in past years. I'm hoping they're just slow in arriving. It was pretty cool to have 6-8 bald eagles flying in the sky at one time.

Although I did see a full-grown adult having their lunch yesterday on Deer Island, which was pretty darn impressive.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Signs of Spring

I know, I know... it snowed all day yesterday. That is definately not a sign of Spring. But, I do have a few sure signs to share with you...
  • I'm headed towards finishing Rogue. Body's done, ends woven in, hoods done, arms are cast on (two at once). Finishing a winter sweater is definately a sign of Spring.

  • The first lime from our lime tree is ready! Limes... tequila... yup, definitely Spring-y.

  • And the one, sure sign of Spring.... the first Peep appeared on my window sill this morning.

Ahhhh! Spring!