Saturday, May 31, 2008

Knit happens... or not.

I've been waiting to blog for two weeks, hoping that some knitting worth mentioning would be accomplished. But I've given up hope since realizing that I am not one pattern repeat away from the end of the baby blanket, but two. ...le sigh... I did get quite a bit accomplished over the holiday weekend (who knew that knitting and fishing would mesh so well??) but not, it would seem, enough to deliver me from this particular circle of knitting hell.

I have made progress on Spring Vines, although you can't tell it from my naked needles. I decided that since I'm a math idiot, and since Ravelry allows instant access to designers, I would contact Dao directly for help on adapting her pattern somewhat. You see, Dao is a young lady. A young, thin, lady... of asian decent. I am a towering, middle-aged Scot who has gained 10 lbs since getting married a year ago. These two body types are not exactly... similar, shall we say. So with help from a very kind Dao I now have far fewer waist shaping rows and a much clearer understanding of negative ease. ;-) So back to the swatching, going down one needle size to get a slightly tighter fabric and this time actually washing and blocking said swatch.

I know. Now close your mouth - you look like an idiot.

While my gauge didn't change significantly, it did change a little. I am within one stitch of getting gauge over 4 inches, which I'm going to call close enough given the amount of negative ease built into this piece. My row gauge is also very slightly off, but with such a low neckline I think a little shorter will be a good thing. We shall see...

Fortunately I do have some lovely yarn and fiber to show you...

Two skeins of Handmaiden Sea Silk in Blackberry/Currant (top, for The Mister) and Aurora Borealis (bottom, for me) scored at Little Knits a couple of weeks ago. I've never seen Sea Silk in person before... and now I am totally smitten. The top skein was a surprise for The Mister since those are the colors he loves. I'm now hunting down a "manly" lace pattern so I can knit him a scarf out of it. Mine may want to be a small shawl. I'm not yet sure, but I had to have those colors.

Next up, some fiber...

I had almost totally lost my spinning mojo while slogging my way through a pound of monochrome wool/mohair for Kath's gift. It's a lovely fiber, and it's turning into a very nice yarn, but it's a little... boring. Fortunately Amanda is having a baby and, since she's knitter-friendly, it seemed fitting to have some fiber dyed up with which to knit her a handspun baby dress. I asked Heather at Sereknity for "a pink that's very peachy and yellow" and a green that's "brand new spring leaves with a bit of light teal" in a superwash wool. And this is what that amazing woman came up with...

 and my photo doesn't nearly do this roving justice.

Alright. Enough distraction. Back to the baby blanket.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

6 Things Meme

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?

Living in Maine being an antique dealer and Harley rider. Generally raising hell and scaring the heck out of the tourists...

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):

Re-swatch (and block, damn it) for Spring Vines, take some checks to the bank, beat the cat, make The Mister something delightful for lunch, make it to Knitting Circle tonight.

3) Snacks I enjoy:

popcorn, anything both salty and crunchy, dried cherries

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

Buy a home here and one in Key West. Debate where to stay each month. Travel to Japan and buy loads of fabric. Knit. Stay in Edinburgh for months on end touring all the museums. Pay off all Kath's debts and send her to her school of choice. Set up a huge trust fund for The Boy. Lease a horse.

5) Places I have lived:

The highlights - Gloucester, MA; Manchester, NH; Kennebunk, ME. I've moved 14 times in the last 20 years.

6) 5 peeps I wanna know more about:

Monday, May 19, 2008

Pattern obsession

We've all done it. A pattern gets into your head and it just won't leave you alone until you cast on for it. It doesn't matter that you have a dozen other projects on the needles or that you'd planned to start "x" next... it won't go away. It

So meet Spring Vines, aka Mango Vines. I spotted this on Ravelry a little bit ago, threw it into my ample queue, and mostly forgot about it. Then it turned up as a pdf you could purchase and download through Ravelry, so I threw it into my shopping cart and sort of forgot about it.

Until this morning.

You know, when knitting mojo hits, it hits hard.

I thought about that pattern first thing this morning while I was having morning coffee with The Mister, bought it as soon as I got to work, printed out the pattern, and swatched at lunchtime.

Oooo it's going to be luscious!

I really absolutely positively cannot buy any more yarn (Oh yeah, except that SeaSilk that's on order from Little Knits. .. and that roving I've been talking to Heather about...) so I did a little stash diving and came up with some Cashsoft DK in a light orange color that we're going to call Mango. The pattern calls for 23 stitches x 30 rows on US4 in a DK yarn. So far I'm getting 23 stitches on US6 with this DK yarn. I'll finish the swatch tonight and see what I get.

[As a side note, why do we bother with words like DK, Sport, or Aran to describe yarn? I can pull out of my own stash at least four separate "DK" yarns and I guarantee you that The Mister, who is not in the least yarn savvy, could easily note that no two of them are even remotely the same thickness. I'm just sayin'...]

So in between the unfinished pair of socks (the latest one, not those ones that have been lying around since last year), two baby projects, and my poor neglected Bee Fields Shawl, now I've got this. And I was so ready to re-start Joan's Racer Back Tank... or was I going to cast on for Falling Nights with that pretty red Happy Hooves yarn I got?... Maybe it was the Rivendell Sock I have in my basket... or that super cute lobster by Molly Lincoln....?


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Now you see you don't!

Last night was a biggie for me. After 23 years I finally got my hair cut. Short. Good and short. We weighed the ponytail and it was almost half a pound. Yeah, no wonder my neck hurts. ;-)

Here's the new "do"...

Who knew my hair was wavy??

It's not the butch "do" that I dream of, but we're getting there. Gotta ease The Mister into it gradually doncha know. ;-) Maybe start watching more Grace Jones movies or something...

In honor of my freedom, I give you:

Ten Things I will NOT miss about having Very Long Hair:
  1. Drunks. They get to a certain level of inebriation and decide it's okay to stumble over and stroke my hair. Revolting.
  2. Locks of Love. While I have nothing against the organization and think they do A Very Good Thing, I am sick to death of people telling me that what I should do is cut my hair and donate it, as though having long hair is somehow selfish. It's damned annoying. Was damned annoying.
  3. Stupid questions. "How long does it take you to wash/dry/brush your hair?" Well meaning, but dumb and damned annoying. Usually comes right before they start with #2.
  4. Tucking my hair into my pants when leaving the rest room.
  5. Shutting it in the car door.
  6. worse - Having the seatbelt retracty thingy snag my hair along with the seatbelt.
  7. Having to wake up the husband and the cat so I can roll over in the middle of the night. "Alright, everybody OFF!"
  8. "Fuck hair". You know what I'm talking about...
  9. Having the massage therapist step on your hair mid-session.
  10. Cleaning the beater bar on the vacuum cleaner with a scissors. Every time you use it.