Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ravelry: The Great Time Suck

That's what they've been calling Ravelry; and it's true. You can spend hour upon hour browsing patterns, looking up your friends, choosing yarns. Once you get in, it'll be hard to find time to knit anymore!

I had a problem where my blog wasn't showing up on my page, but I think I fixed it. I'll find out soon.

Haven't had much knitting or spinning time lately. Work, family, life has intruded, but it's all good. My wrist still hurts so I don't want to do too much and make it worse. I've been drop spindling a lot. I'll have to take some pictures soon of a lesson I learned about gauge and how one spins can affect the outcome.

Murphy's at soccer, so I'm going to go make food for the guys when they get home.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

My Swap Box Arrived!

I love swaps, have you noticed? It's fun to give and receive little presents from people all over. This swap was to use up those small bits of fiber that seem to accumulate; not enough to actually do much with, but too pretty to discard. We were to make some sort of bag, knit, crochet, felted, whatever, and fill it with those little bits.

Jessica is my partner and boy, did she send it FAST! I'm still working on hers. But here's what greeted me at the door last night.

A lovely felted bag with great texture, just the right size to carry a project with me. In light tan, white and gray/black, with a beautiful beaded accent. In the bag were several gorgeous fibers, including a wool/silk blend and some of the softest alpaca. YUM! And some Lantern Moon needles, in size nine, which somehow she new I needed for the project I'm wanting to work on. Thank you, Jessica! I'm going to have to do some serious stash diving to put yours together!

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Got my Ravelry invite; barely signed up and I LOVE it already! Don't expect to hear from me for quite some time. WHOOO HOOOOOO

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I want to know WHO!

What bog-brained idiot had the affrontery to schedule the Pats game against the Red Sox game? I mean, really. Against the YANKEES? With Schilling on the mound? Against Clemens? And here we are, in the seventh inning stretch, TIED at 1-1? At least the Pats game has been mostly a wipe, so I can pretty much stick with the Sox. If my heart can take it...

Some pics of those WIPs:
The Seraphina.

Yes, I loathe pink. I haven't the slightest idea why I bought this yarn. It must have been a momentary lapse, caused by the incredibly low price tag, coupled with global warming and too much sugar. Or something.

But I somehow like the texture of it crocheted really tightly; it's like terrycloth. I plan on finishing this, even if it takes a while. It will be warm, which was the original objective.

The Modea Tutu Tank.

Again, with the pink. Purchased around the same time. Amnesia. Something chemical in the air. And again, the price. It was going out of stock, so they were clearing it out at like a dollar a skein. I hadn't yet learned that I hate, I mean, with a hate so deep and black it melds with space, novelty yarn.

This tank is so not for me and my forty-something, ever so slightly (ha!)Rubenesque, I've had two children and a lifetime of chocolate cravings figure. But I figured I'd better do something with the yarn or it'd be in my stash forever. I had four skeins. The pattern called for four skeins. Ergo - WIP.

The Triangle Shawl
This is a creation out of my own desperation. I bought this yarn on Ebay. The picture doesn't show it well, but it's black with strands of turquoise and coral as the second and third plies. The colors are bright and electric and I loved the yarn, even though it's acrylic. But what to do with it? It's boucle, so anything smooth textured is out. I tried pattern after pattern after pattern, and nothing worked. I frogged so many times there were flies buzzing. So I decided to make it up as I went along. Again, you can't see it in the picture, but there are lace flowers about two inches in from the border. I'm toying with trying a central motif but I'd better decide soon. I'm also trying to find a nice shaping that will avoid the triangle bunching at the nape and help keep the shawl on the shoulders. I've seen a deep V shaping on a shawl I really liked, and I may take a stab at it. Luckily, this yarn takes frogging well.
No picture of the Pinwheel Sweater, as right now it looks like a hat and in a photo simply looks like a blob. I'm trying to trust that once off the needles, it will miraculously become a flat, perfect circle but my faith is being stretched. I'm almost to the sleeve shaping, and THAT should be fun.

It's now the eight inning. I am not a happy camper. Have I ever mentioned how much I abhor Derek Jeter? And what moron decided to keep Schilling into the eighth? Must be the same guy that scheduled both Boston games at the same time. ARRRGHHHHHHH


Ok, so I lied. Yesterday I updated the OTN bot to include the Seraphina Shawl. I made one a year or two ago, and I love it; but I made it on a huge hook with bulky yarn. As a result, it's VERY open and not warm at all.

So I thought hey, maybe crocheting would be easier on my tendonitis than knitting. You use the hook in your right hand, not left, so no bending on the left wrist. WRONG. I found crocheting much more painful than knitting. So with only 6 rows completed, I"m putting it aside for a bit, despite the fact that I LOVE the fabric it's making. I'm using that rainbow boucle stuff that JoAnne's had last year in the humongous skeins, and I'm using a very small hook, C or D. It's coming out looking almost like a felted fabric, somehow, with much smaller open spaces, so it will be warm. I do plan on finishing it someday, but it'll have to wait for some rehab.

Instead, I started the Pinwheel Sweater in the child's size. I know it's nuts. I've never made a sweater that looked like a sweater. I don't have enough yarn (I'm using Noro Silk Garden, and I only have two skeins). The colors will be, well, interesting, not graduated as they are in the original. But what the hey, it's worth a shot. It's a fun pattern, with no sewing. Sewing pieces together is what makes my sweaters look, well, like hell. I haven't gotten the hang of a smooth join yet, so my seams look bulky and uneven. So that's my current WIP.

I did get my swap boxes, both of them, in the mail yesterday, and only a little late. Now to put Toni's box together. She sent me such wonderful things, I'll have to come up with something really special to thank her.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Antsy for Ravelry

Found you!
You signed up on July 8, 2007
You are #14966 on the list.
1906 people are ahead of you in line.
17775 people are behind you in line.
39% of the list has been invited so far

So, maybe 10 days? I can almost taste it!

Friday, September 14, 2007

The doings of the past week or so

Well, it's been a busy time. Last weekend was Murphy's SEVENTH birthday. Mammama came to visit for the occasion. It was so wonderful to see her, especially seeing her looking so well. She kept us on our toes and we had a lovely visit that was far too short.

Being the dweebs we are, we didn't take a single photo of the birthday party. Duh. Auntie Merridee and Uncle Terry came for the party, as did Murphy's best friend Natie. There was food and fun and good times for all.

Prior to the party, Murphy had his very first soccer game. The Ojai Tigers, I am proud to report, whomped the other team 17 to 2. Murph didn't score any goals, but did have a few assists. He really loves soccer!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Me? A Soccer Mom?

Is this not the cutest child in the history of the world?
Murphy's first soccer practice was last night. He's really GOOD at it! Daddy is a little bummed that basketball is not the chosen athletic activity (Who knows anything about Soccer?) but we're so proud of him anyway.
His team is called the Ojai Tigers with really cool orange black and white uniforms, which fits in really well with a certain plan that Mom has if she's ever allowed to knit again.....
His first game is Saturday, which also happens to be his Birthday Party day... so I'm looking forward to a very busy, very fun weekend. And Mammama is coming today for the celebration; we're all so excited and can't wait to see her!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Enough with the heat, already.

We're currently in a major heat wave. Temps in Ojai Saturday were ONE HUNDRED AND NINE degrees, and it's humid (for here. In Boston, 60% humidity is to laugh!) We've had brown/black outs two days in a row; Saturday it lasted long enough that we packed everyone up in the air conditioned van and took a drive to Ventura, just to get cool. We could live with the brown outs; turn everything off but the ceiling fans and it was tolerable, but when the power went completely, it was brutal. Even at 10 pm the temp was still close to 100.

Brown outs are a new phenomenon to me. In Boston, a "brown out" was what happened just before a black out; the lights would dim, then go dark. In California, a brown out can last for hours. Sort of a 80% power reduction; it's really bad, actually. Everything just keeps trying to start up again. Our computer kept trying to reboot itself, over and over and over every few seconds, until we realized it and managed to track down where it was plugged in. I'm amazed that it wasn't completely fried. Oh, and getting a UPS has now moved to the front of the "important expenditures" column...

I managed to get some dyeing done yesterday. I mordanted a bunch of sample skeins with alum, and test dyed some wood shavings that Elisa's husband Dick donated to the cause (Thanks, guys!) It's a mixed bag of wood types which I have been steeping in alcohol for a week or two. The color is amazing; it came out the exact color of Cocoa Krispies! I dyed a large-ish skein of unknown fiber (wool) that I received in a swap, and it's quite pretty. I'll try to get some pictures up later. Ok, the picture DOES have a pink background, which emphasizes the pinky brownness, but the color does seem pretty true. If I'm up to it (which is doubtful, having promised Murphy pancakes for breakfast which for some reason tortures my knee) I'll try the ebony shavings also donated by Dick. The liquor is quite dark, but I'm doubting that the resultant dye will be black. It's so much fun to play and find out! Always a surprise. ADDENDUM: the ebony is pretty much the same color; a tad darker, I think. It's still drying, will post someday....

I want to knit so badly (some think I *do* knit badly, rimshot) it's really driving me crazy. I don't feel like the brace is helping; my wrist still hurts and I still have the little lump there. Ok, so it hasn't been a full week yet. I'm trying to follow the rules. Sigh.

More later, I hope.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

More Frustrations

I'm typing this VERY laboriously, with a brace on my left wrist. It seems I either have a recurrance of a ganglia which I had surgically removed when I was a teen, or tendonitis. I lean towards the former, my doctor leans towards the latter. Doesn't really matter, as the early treatment for both is immobilization, rest, etc. Therefore, I am under strict orders; NO KNITTING for at least a week. Oh dear God. I can't spin because my knee got really badly worse this week, so I got a cortisone shot for that, which helped until I decided to make zucchini bread. I can't knit. I am probably not supposed to spindle either, but come on! I have to do something! So I'm using the wonderful Jerusalem spindle which I LOVE, but I'm using it very carefully, with my brace on (fun!) making sure not to flex the wrist at all. It doesn't hurt to do it, so I'm assuming it's okay. I finished spinning the merino from my swap partner; today I'll ply it (laceweight, I think!!!!) and maybe dye it if I'm feeling adventurous. The spindle really is amazing; it spins fast and forever, and it holds an unbelievable amount of fiber. It was just starting to act heavy as I was finishing up the last few inches of the fiber. I'll weigh it off the spindle to see how much it holds, but it's a LOT.

Murphy's wonky tooth finally came out. He'll be seven next week and he looks so grown up, so earnest and excited about everything. Children are so amazing. I'm so blessed to have such wonderful ones. School has started, and his favorite subject is PE. This is MY child? Nope; he's his Daddy's boy, through and through. That's a blessing too!

Seeing as there's a line for the computer, and I have some swap boxes and birthday stuff to pack up, this entry is short. Lucky you!