Sunday, November 18, 2012

Gloves are done!

Huzzah!  They are done!  I just need to get a picture for the experience to truly be over :)

I'm trying to decide which Christmas present to start on next...I'm taking a bit of a break by doing some granny-style motifs.  I just made a hexagon, and I can't believe how much I enjoyed it.  It's been a long time since I crocheted motifs.  I'm using Noro silk garden, and I think I have a bunch of skeins of it lying around, so I can keep on making them to unwind. 

I have the pattern for the next pair of fingerless gloves written out, and I think I figured out what size needle I need to use, so it's really just a matter of making them.  They should be nice - I'm using Madelinetosh :)

I had a scare earlier this week - I thought LG had eaten some poison.  It looks like she didn't, but I was so scared, I was shaking.  The problem is that she's so curious about everything, and her way of exploring new things is to chew on them.  Sigh.  I wish that she wasn't allergic to chicken, because I'd love to give her chicken bones to chew on, but she gets so sick that I don't want to try.  Interestingly, she doesn't get sick from eating her dry food (we use it as a treat or snack when we have to have dneph watch her)...does that mean that it is so processed her body doesn't even recognize it as chicken? 

In other news, I've reading Michael J. Sullivan's Theft of Swords trilogy.  The books are not the best in the world, but they are eminently readable, and they really make me want to play Skyrim!  I wish that I could find more books like these:  no sex, high adventure, lots of fun, characters that I want to be :)  I have to say it:  I wish I was Hadrian.  One of the greatest sorrows of my life is that I have no children, and one of the things that I wanted to teach my children was how to fight.  I've always thought that if I knew how to fight (box, martial arts, anything), life would be a lot more enjoyable.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Gonna make it, gonna make it

I'm on the last repeat of those blasted gloves - maybe I'll finish them before the week is over.  I just want this albatross off my neck!

I cobbled together a pair of crocheted fingerless gloves for my brother, but the yarn is a bit too scratchy.  I may use them myself, or as an over-pair.  I haven't decided.  I worked out the pattern for yet another pair, but now I have to knit them!  I've been having trouble getting the correct needle size for the yarn I'm working with, but I will persevere.

I started the KSH gloves for my mom, and almost immediately pushed them into a bag and stuffed it deep into the ottoman.  KSH is glorious when knit up, but a bear to actually knit.  I'll have to wait a bit for a less stressful time to work on them.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Once a month

Set the bar low, and maybe I'll trip over it!

I'm still working on the gloves for dneph...for some reason, I have not had the time I'd like to work on them. I have so many other things I want to do, but these are my current albatross.

I wanted to make a little sweater for my niece, but that too is not happening :)

I have my present list, and I need to get started on it.  I think I need a day of organizing projects, with yarn and needles, and then just busting through them.  

I saw the new posters for The Hobbit today, and several of the dwarves have knitted fingerless gloves!  Even Gandalf looks to have a stockinette pair.  The others seem to be in seed stitch, and one looks like it's actually crocheted, or possibly sideways garter stitch.  If I could get my yarn together, I think I could recreate them.  One pair looks like my pair of "this and that" mitts, so I should probably write that up asap.

That's pretty much my life right now.  I work, come home, wash dishes, go to sleep, go back to work.  I'm really only getting knitting done on the bus, which is just an hour a day.  Ack!

Lady Grey is doing well.  She's 13 months old now, and getting so big!  She's also growing her winter coat, so I have to be vigilant about matts.  She has two that I haven't been able to cut out because they're right under her front legs and I just can't get to them.  I still take her out for her walks, and she's progressed to walking in the front yard now too.  She loves chasing rabbits and squirrels (though I don't let her catch them), but she also just likes to sit outside, with her tail wrapped around her legs, and look at everything.  She's such a wonderful kitty.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Gloving it

I still have the gloves for Dneph on the needles, but he really wanted some right away, so I made him a plain pair out of the leftovers of the Limari.  He likes them well enough to wear them to school and around the house, taking them off only to eat and bathe :)  When I finish the other ones, I can use them as a gift of some sort.  I do want to get them done, but they take concentration and the chart is a bit bigger than I'm comfortable with using on the bus.  Ah well.

I'm going to be babysitting my nieces next weekend, so I need to come up with some projects.  I'm thinking of doing the woven felt pillow with my oldest niece.  The nice thing is that you end up with a finished object at the end!  DP offered to take me to the fabric store, so we might do that tomorrow.  We could also do some food projects - maybe make some of those cake pops.  Rather than using candy disks to coat (tons of poisons) we could just use chocolate, maybe mixed with some coconut oil for stability.  Both projects should use up chunks of time between snacks and naps :)

I'm in the middle of DP's scarf right now, and worried about running out of yarn.  I went back to the yarn store, but they were out of that color, though they did have a ton of Madelinetosh DK.  I prefer Vintage weight, but I had a gift certificate, so I just went with it :)  My sister also asked me to add on to the twins' winter hats, because they are a bit too short.  I don't think I have any of that Madelinetosh left, but I might have something in near the same weight.

I also have an idea for a cowl floating around in my head.  It's based on the Brising necklace, and I'm thinking of either a gold yarn or a silvergilt (maybe that silk/cashmere?).  Maybe using chain ribbing and one large motif in the middle.  I just have to decide who to give such a thing to!  I'm planning my attack for Christmas, so now is the time to get the pattern ideas worked out.  Food items and/or sewing might also play a part, and I already have a book for the oldest of my younger brothers.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


The holiday season is so stressful that it's pretty much mandatory to have a day off to rest and reset my brain.

Right now, I'm working on gloves for Dneph, and I have a scarf in the works for DP.  I have a list of other things I'd like to start on, but I'm trying to hold off actually starting them until I finish one of my current projects.

I love the fall, but this year I'm feeling more melancholy than usual.  I can't really explain it.  I'm hoping that crafting will cheer me up.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Crafting season

After a long, slow summer, I'm suffering from a case of start-itis.  I have a Beekeeper's Quilt and fingerless gloves on the needles, and I'm about to cast on a pig.  I also bought another couple of patterns...something about the fall weather just makes me want to craft like a madwoman.  I've started a Christmas list, and I might actually follow it!

In other news, I have my teenage nephew living with us.  It's crazy to 1. have another person in the house, and 2. have a teenage boy in the house.  It takes some getting used to :)

I finished that swap shawl, but I don't think I have a picture of it anywhere!  Argh.  It was 18 oz of two ply fingering weight that I made into a faroese shawl with a lace band and gusset.  Maybe I can find a pic somewhere...

I finished the Diamond Waistcoat socks (finally!):

diamond waistcoat done

They fit well, and I'm going to try to write up that pattern, maybe with a variation.

I also finished Uinen:

uinen done

But it didn't fit :(  It was actually too wide in the shoulders, so at least it wasn't because I gained too much weight!  I gave it to my little sister, who is taller than me and wider in the shoulders, and it fit perfectly!

I also made a pair of fingerless gloves for DP (which Dnephew tried to snag):


They're exactly the kind of thing DP likes, so I was happy to find them.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hmmm...too hot?

I didn't end up spinning any yesterday - it was both too hot and too windy!  My hope is to get something done tonight, but I don't know how that will work out.

In other news, I made some no-knead quick yeast bread yesterday.  It didn't turn out too badly, but I didn't take the plastic wrap off before I baked it - yuck!  I was wondering why the crust was so shiny, even without an egg wash :)

I'm really just counting the hours until I can go home and spin - sad when you begin the day wishing for it to end!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Spinning, spinning...

I joined another swap (blush).  I know, I shouldn't have done it, but the swap deadline is before the Olympics start, so I'll be fine.  It's a shawl swap, and I spent yesterday afternoon with pencil and calculator working up the pattern.  I think I have it mostly set at this point, at least enough to get started.

DP said that I could buy yarn for the project (we're trying to tighten our belts currently), but I decided to spin it from some Cupcake Fiber Co batts in stash.  I got 2 oz of two ply spun on Sunday, and I hope to maybe spin another ounce today.  It would be great to get 5 oz spun time for me to spin up 7 more!  I decided that I needed a bit of insurance, and since it comes in 6 oz increments, I had to get another box :)  I'm excited to blend the two fibers:  I'll be doing 2 2oz skeins of each, 1 1oz skein of each, and 1 2oz skein of blend.

I wanted to go with a 2 ply, even though I usually do shawls in singles, because I want something a bit heartier.  If I have any left over, I might even eke out a pair of fingerless gloves, but we'll see about that.  I'm also using two different fiber blends - one blue faced Leicester and one Merino, with the Merino being on the part closest to the neckline.

With these swaps, it's always hard when your partner doesn't give you a lot to go on.  If their likes are just "knitting" and so are their hobbies, what's a person to do?  What I do is pretty methodical, and the closest I'll ever get to my dream of being a private investigator's secretary.  I go through all their posts on Ravelry to see what personal information lies within.  I check their projects, favorites and queue.  I cruise the boards that they're members of.  If they have a blog/flickr account/website, I check it out (unless it's F@cebook, since I'm not on it).  I G00gle them and see if there are any groups they're part of, or if they're in the news.  Usually that nets me enough information to go on.  But you can never tell if that's the real person or just their persona, so I always have that fear that they'll hate whatever I make.

In old business, my swap partner for the GoIaF swap liked her patchwork blanket!  I'd love to make one of them again - you take wool felt, cut it into squares and just seam them together overlapping (thank you Purlbee!).  I added a border and backing to hers so that it would be warmer and able to be used as a ground cover for picnics/fireworks/etc.  She made me an amazing wall hanging that is now over our fireplace.  DP loves it.

Back to spinning!

Saturday, June 2, 2012


The cardigan is finished and fits great! 

waiting side

waiting front

waiting back

My only issue is that the yarn I used was a bit too variegated, so the cables don't pop as much as they might.  However, I'd make this again, in a solid or semi-solid; that's how much I enjoyed it.

Now I'm back on bus socks, trying to get them done in the next few weeks or so.

I'm also finished with the items for my swap partner for the ASOIAF swap.  Unfortunately, I don't know if I'll get to the post office today, so it might have to wait until Monday to be mailed out.  I really hope she likes the items...I tried to make them reflect Arya, Bran, and the wolves.  I'm always worried about swap stuff - will the person like it, will they absolutely hate it, etc.  I hope that the things are okay.

I had thought of giving her a book of crochet patterns inspired by Jane Austen, but the book was totally panned, so I didn't think it would actually be worthwhile to give.  Sometimes it's not the thought that counts :)

I'm planning my knitting for the Ravelypics, too.  I think I want to try to finish that cardigan I started two years ago.  It just needs the sleeves done, to be sewn up, and the button bands put on.  I love cardigans, but there is something that keeps me from finishing them unless I have some hard deadline imposed from outside.  Ah, psychology.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Decreasing, hooray!

I'm in the decreases, so I'm very excited.  I'm not going to think about how many more rows to go, just that I get to decrease now :)

In other news, I got a cappuccino today from a local coffee shop.  Once a month or so I get a fun coffee drink, and today was the day.  There are two coffee shops by work, both about the same distance I think, but one feels closer.  I keep going to the "closer" one, even though they're pricier and not as good.  The cappuccino I got today was curiously light when I picked it up - it was mostly foam!  I know that it's a drink with a lot of foam, but this is ridiculous.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Tinking, frogging, etc.

Argh.  I was all set to finish the back today, but then I realized I had missed several decreases along the way on one side.  Rather than rip out all those rows, which would have taken hours to knit again, if I could even find where I went wrong, I ripped out just the section that was screwed up.  Problem was, it took a hour and a half to fix.  Hopefully blocking will help the weird gauge on those stitches, but seriously?

At least I'm at the point where I just need to knit 17 more rows to finish the back chart.  Then 5 rows later, I can add the sleeves.  Once I get those sleeves added, I get to actually decrease, which makes me very happy.

Monday, May 14, 2012

What's that about a break?

I've been working like crazy on the cardigan, but the going is slow.  LG around means less time for knitting.  Either I'm playing with her, making food for her, or asleep :)  Seriously though, I've had less time to work on this than I'd like.  I was planning on getting a lot done on Friday, but I had to work late, and then was at the symphony, so the day only included about an hour and a half of knitting time.

I'm hoping to finish the back this week.  I'm on row 60-something, and there are over 200 rows, so I have a ways to go.  I'm really looking forward to the point on row 141 when I get to join the sleeves to the body and actually decrease.  I love decreasing. 

In other news, my brother will be coming to live with us for about a month in June, and then our nephew will move in in July.  It will be interesting to see what living with other people is like again.  We haven't had any long term houseguests for a year or so now.

Eventually I'll have some pictures of the cardigan, but for now, just imagine something that starts out in a rainforesty type blue on the bottom and transitions up to a blue-grey on the top.  The drawbacks of not having 4 skeins of the same color :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

That was a long break

I don't know why it's been so long! 

I just started a cardigan from the DIC Smooshy I bought a few months ago.  It's not the cardigan I was planning, but a test knit.  Those seem to be the only things I finish in a reasonable amount of time!

Work is crazy busy, and likely to get crazier.  LG is growing fast, and I'm constantly worried about her, afraid she'll get sick, hurt, etc.  Argh.

I'm planning on actually posting in May, if only to have a record of the work on this cardigan.  Oh no...I just realized that last May was when my back injury happened, and I was working on a cardi test knit at the time.  Eep!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spring already?

Even though it's not technically spring yet, we're having warm weather.  I went on a walk with my niece yesterday and ended up carrying her piggyback for most of it.  Blagh - it was so hot and uncomfortable!

I finished the one double heelix sock for DP, but still haven't even cast on the second.  I need some quiet time to concentrate on that heel; once I'm done with that, it's smooth sailing.

I pulled out that cardigan, but I don't know if it will even fit me now.  I need to start exercising again; I haven't done any real load bearing exercises for the past year because of my back problems.  For health's sake, I need to get myself into shape again.  My upper body isn't the problem - work takes care of that - it's the waist down that's the issue.  If only moving furniture whittled one's waist!

LG (Lady Grey) is doing well and growing like a weed.  Her last weigh in was 7.5 lbs.  When we got her, she was about 4 lbs.  Time sure does fly.  She's learned to sit, and to "show me" when she wants something.  Sometimes it's just for someone to come with her to the litterbox :)

We're still working on not scratching people in fun - she knows what "be nice" means - but she's still young, so she gets worked up at times. 

She's really enjoying her raw diet.  Unfortunately, she has a chicken sensitivity, which means that chicken (raw or cooked or in any food) gives her intestinal troubles.  So we're stuck with beef right now.  We might branch out into lamb at some point, depending on the budget.  I'm also wondering about rabbit, but I don't think it's worth buying a bunch of it if she turns out not to like it.

Friday, February 24, 2012


We got a harness for Lady so she could go outside without DP holding her.  It took me a while to figure out how to get it on (we put it on a teddy bear first) but once we put it on her, she was fine with it.  Crazy!  DP clipped the leash on, and they took a walk in the backyard.  She was jumping really high and almost pulling him along!

I'm so happy we have her.  She's just the sweetest, even when she's being bad ;)

I'm still working on the socks I started in January.  For some reason, I just haven't been able to concentrate on knitting.  They're the double heelix socks from Knitty, so after the heel it's just boring stockinette for size 10s...that might explain it.

I really want to finish the cardigan I started two years ago...I just have the halves of the sleeves to go and the sewing up to do.  Again, I just can't seem to concentrate on it.  I want to start another cardigan (or two!) but I will not until I get this thing finished.  Ack!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The snow is so beautiful

I wish today was Friday night so I could stay up all night watching the snow.  It's falling in huge flakes and everything is covered up.  DP took Lady out for her nightly walk, and she was just bouncing through the snow.  She was so sad to come in that DP had to take her back out!

I've said it before, but the snow is so peaceful.  You just feel quiet, watching it.  And DP in the snow with snowflakes on his black hair is lovely.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mittens, finally

I've been working on a pair of mittens for almost a month now, and I'm still not done!  I need to finish one thumb yet, and I decided to pull out the decreases on the first one and redo them.

I'm also thinking of making a felted lining for them...maybe with some silk hankies?  My plan was to put on a rubber glove, wrap my hand in silk, get it wet and add soap, put a layer of plastic wrap over that, and roll it back and forth until it felts.  Will that work?  If it does, I'll let you know.

I also got a new book from my aunt - the Ohio Knitting Mills book - and I think I may even have the yarn to make one or two of the sweaters.  I just need to finish up the ones I already have on the needles!

We took our kitty to the vet last week for her shots and a checkup.  That rabies vaccine is a killer - she had a bad reaction to it.  She's okay now, but for 12 hours or so, I was very upset and scared.

She's so snuggly...she'll lie down with me at night, and wake me up with little trills in the morning.  I love her a lot.  DP says he feels a bit like a stay at home dad, since he's with her all day (working from home).

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Everyone's talking about

The Costa Concordia this week.  What with the recording of the coast guard being released, I don't blame anyone one bit.

One of the many interesting things I read about this incident was the huge blowup people are creating about no "women and children first" in the lifeboats.  We have women complaining that men were being selfish by not letting them have all the spaces.  We have men angry that women - who are self described equals with men and thus deserve no special treatment - are complaining they didn't get special treatment.  I'm seeing that chivalry is dead, or outmoded.

What is chivalry?  I believe that chivalry is men treating women as though each woman they meet is a lady.  Why would you take your hat off, or put your cloak on a puddle for a woman?  Not because they are weak, but because they are a higher social status than you are, and you are showing your submission.  If the woman you're doing this for is a queen, you get no brownie points because you must do it.  If she is not a queen, she feels that you are doing her a favor, and thus the brownie points.  Who doesn't feel a little frisson of pleasure when they are looked up to?  It's when women start expecting men to act like this that it becomes problematic.  I know I hate it when something I did as a favor for someone becomes something I must now do to maintain the status quo.  And chivalry (in my opinion) does not mean dying for someone.  That is yet another thing - sacrifice.

I am in favor of chivalry.  I'm also in favor of courtesty.  Both are really just old french terms for the same ilk of thing, but one is for men only and one is for everyone.  Was the husband who gave his wife his life jacket being chivalrous?  I would say yes and no.  Yes, because he was giving up something he had a right to by choice.  No, because he was being greater than simply chivalrous.  He was sacrificing his best chance for survival. 

And how much should we blame the passengers on the boat?  From what I've read, many of them were not good swimmers.  What if you were on a huge boat, in the dark, and it started listing and sinking? Most people would like to say that they'd help people, be orderly, not panic, etc.  But what if you couldn't swim?  What would be the first thing in your head?  I'd say the Titanic.  Once fear gets hold of you, you pretty much lose your reasoning power and act to save yourself or your loved ones.  That's why you need to have a captain and crew trained in emergency procedures to be overseeing an evacuation.  It seems the captain was just as scared as everyone else - which is an explanation, not an excuse.  If you are a captain, you need to be chivalrous, courteous, and ready to sacrifice.  If you are not these things, you're not a bad person.  You should just be working in a different job.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Blogger is killing me

It's really making inserting images difficult.  Blargh.

I finished one mitten in time for the big snowstorm, but I can't really go out in one mitten, so I'm still not quite situated :)  The yarn is Malabrigo Rios, which is very nice.

My little kitty will be 16 weeks old tomorrow.  She's so playful and smart - maybe too smart.  She can get into my mixing bowl cupboard as easy as you please.  This is a bit problematic from a clean mixing bowl standpoint, but I also need to make sure she doesn't get stuck!  Her jumping ability is rapidly increasing, too.  Soon nothing will be safe.

I know she's not a substitute for a child, but it is nice to have a sweet little creature to take care of.

Here she is

sweetie by Long Haired Spider
sweetie, a photo by Long Haired Spider on Flickr.

Isn't she loveable?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I have become a cat lady

The cat that we've been waiting for for so many months is finally here!  We haven't figured out her name yet - trying to see what fits the best.

She's a Siberian, so I'm much less allergic to her than to other cats.  DP and I just love her...she might end up being the true lady of the manor.  She really seems to enjoy wool socks - that is, she enjoys attacking them :)

I'm a bit stuck on what to knit right now.  I'm swatching for a lace cardigan, even though I didn't finish the other cardigan on the needles.  I also really want to make myself some mittens, because the weather, while warm now, means that mittens are going to be necessary.  Gloves just don't cut it for really keeping your hands warm.  I also have some yarn coming from the loopy ewe for the first quarter challenge of knitting with silk.  I'm trying two yarns new to me - Enchanted Knoll Enchantments, and some Shibui silk blend in a fingering weight.  I'm thinking of making some more fingerless gloves, either for DP, or for the gift pile.  I say it every year, but having a pile of ready made gifts is a lifesaver.

So, hopefully I'll be able to get some stuff done even with a kitten who wants to play with everything in sight!