Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lookie what I got....

What's that, you say? Do I spy yarn??
I got my yarn from Miss Babs!!! Whoopie!!! Yep, I came home from work the other day, and there it was. Under the maple tree in the front yard, laid out in a glass bowl, just ready for pictures... Kidding, of course, but I did send it to the yard this (sweltering) afternoon for what turned out to be a pretty accurate picture of the color. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the color, made just for me.... If you remember, this is Miss Babs Solo for the Canopy Cardigan. I searched and searched at Stitches South, and finally had to special order to get just what I was wanting. I am barely able to restrain myself from starting today!
Here is a close-up of my fabulous new yarn, the best kind of yarn.... One that I paid for back in April! Yarn love. I am a little sad to notice that she seems to have discontinued this yarn, since is is listed as "Destash" right now. I am glad I got it when I did, then!
I also got a kitty helper for my photo shoot:
Here is the leg-stropping in action! He is so helpful.... And loves me so. When I am outside. Inside, I am persona non gratis. Go figure! We had a fun time, him making sure the evil cat next door understood that I was his human, and me trying to line up a shot without the cat's tail in it! Pretty kitty boy! Here he is, deigning to have his portrait taken:
I also got, wait for it as I extend the grammatical theme, progress made on my On-Hold Socks! They are really too big, but there is just NO WAY I am ripping these out again. Like I said before, I will use smaller needles next pair. Wendy's patterns must run large.... Anyway, they are absolutely lovely, if I do say so myself, and have cemented my adoration of semi-solid yarn for all time.
And guess what this is:
That's right! It is a digital cable box/DVR for the den! Oh, joy of joys! Hallelujah! Life is good again.... Matt has taken over the living room for sleeping and his cats pee on the ginormous couch that he has in there, so we weren't getting to DVR Torchwood. Woe is me. So we called today and then RACED over to Time Warner to pick up the box, for only 20$ more a month! I am so happy. Right now we are watching Engineering an Empire on History International, and we can't wait for Top Gear at 5:00. Oh, Hammond, how I have missed you.... Have I mentioned how happy I am?? Graham Norton, here I come!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Road Trip!

Above, see the lovely old campus of my dear alma mater, UNC Chapel Hill... I drove up to see my friend Meredith and we took a walk at school after lunch. It was about 423 degrees in the shade. That is why I believe there are no other people visible in this picture. They are all smarter than us and in air-conditioned buildings!

We had fun, though! Meredith and I always do, even though we are very, very different people. We argue about politics and stuff, but we always love each other and it never gets personal.... It is so good to have friends!

Here some pictures from our very pleasant, if blisteringly hot, day. We sat by the fountain in front of the graduate school... It was either that or expire of heat prostration before we could get over to the student stores.... (which have been ENTIRELY remodeled since we were there last! It was kind of surreal, coming back and things have changed. How dare they not keep the place as a memorial to my attendance??) I found a way to keep cool, which you can see in my very unprofessional and blurry picture that I snapped. The water was ICY cold! It was awesome, though I felt a little paranoid about security guards showing up at any moment and banishing me from fountain foot dandling.... At first glance, it looks as if I could be naked in that picture, which I assure you is NOT true! Though it is a little disturbing how khaki-capri-colored my skin truly is, huh??

All in all, I hadn't realized how much I missed school.... I loved it there, loved going to school and writing papers. I vastly prefer classes to meetings. I want to hang out in coffee shops surrounded by earnest students on laptops. I want to think about art history all the time! I want to read smart books. (I know I could do that any time, but I have a hard time staying motivated without a class deadline!) Eventually, I will go back. I am thinking about Duke. Meredith wholeheartedly agrees with that plan, since I would be closer to her!

I did get some knitting on On-Hold Sock number two, but somehow this morning, possibly still under the influence of Tylenol PM from the night before, I screwed up a lace row so badly that there was no recovery.... I was still less than two inches in, so it wasn't nearly so painful as the one that I frogged last time, where the foot was completely done. As soon as the blog post is done, I am going to cast on once more.... Thank goodness this yarn is holding up!

Ohhh, and we went to see The Proposal yesterday. It was adorable! I love Sandra Bullock, have always thought that Ryan Reynolds was hilarious, and now I want to seriously seem him naked once more! Who would have thought that he would look like that under his clothes?? It has been too long, methinks.... ;-)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

One down....

Lookie what I did!! I finished one!! I am pretty proud of me..... It turns out that if you read the instructions carefully, that the directions for socks from the toe up DO work. Silly me.... What a fantastic shot of my fish-belly white leg.... That is another good reason to wear socks, so nobody will have to be subjected to that sight!
Just to avoid any hit of Sockholm Syndrome (remember when I invented that phrase? Sure is coming in handy now, huh??) I am casting on right away for sock number two. I can't tell you how tempted I am to use the size zeros that I got in Columbia last weekend for the second one. The first one is just a little big..... But that would just be stupid, wouldn't it? Then one would fit snugly and one would be bigger. Stupid. Next pair, right sized needles, I promise!
My yarn is J Knits Superwash Me Sock, and it has the most lovely subtle color variation, in the best blue. Words escape me tonight, probably due to possible allergy medicine overdose. Here is another one, just cause I think it is pretty:
The next pair on the needles will be the Rivulets, also by Wendy. That is what mom is working on, and I am experiencing serious sock envy. She is using Schoeller Stahl Fortissima Socka, and it is fabulous! It really looks like light on water, perfect for the pattern. No pooling, which I love. Here is a progress shot of hers:
Maggie approves of the whole process. Either that, or she is hoping that my camera will open up and peanut butter will be dispensed....
Man, I can't find anything to hyperlink in this one. I am disappointed! I will have to work harder this weekend!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

La la la la laaaa, I can't hear you frogging!!

Instead of talking about how completely impossible it is to rip back a gazillion rows of short row stitches and the put a kabillion stitches back on a size one needle, I am going to share the possible reason that I have been so attracted to the color blue recently. Enjoy.

And then I got to the heel....

I must have slept through that part of the class. Seriously. I knitted and knitted and knitted. It was beautiful. Today's post should have included a triumphant turned-heel picture. Sadly, something has gone horribly wrong. My understanding of the toe-up thing is that you get a gusset by doing a decrease at the end of every heel row, and that decrease should close the gap created by turning without wrapping, right? I don't know what I mis-counted, but apparently there was something, because my decreases don't line up with that gap, at all, even after three rows. What has happened? And why was I too overconfident to put in a lifeline?? I don't think that it is going to be at all possible to tink all those short rows, increases and decreases. I think I have to frog the entire sock, in all its half done glory. I am going to try the dangerous method of pulling out the needle (GASP!) and just pulling. Maybe I can put all the stitches back on after I get beyond the mess.... Maybe.

What have I got to lose by trying, anyway, right??

The lovely Camilla, another summer knitting project, was finished on Saturday in time to wear to the sock class. It was fantastic, looked perfect on. And horribly, has grown and grown. And grown. I thought I was going to wear it to work yesterday, show off how fabulous I am, and it is now way too big. (I told you, that is my knitting theme for the summer: GINORMOUS!) I know, it is cotton, it has a reputation for that kind of thing.... But it started out too small, I had high hopes that it would stop at perfect instead of continuing to get wider and longer. Sigh. It looks GREAT on my mom. She is going to replace the yarn so I can try again. Sigh. It is totally worth it. The pattern is fun, it wasn't hard to make, and it really did come out beautifully! Perseverance is key, I guess!!

I brought the Kingscot to work with me today. It hasn't let me down yet, my faithful, intrepid Kingscot. But that doesn't mean that I have been defeated by socks. I shall soldier on!

(And, may I say once again how I love this link-y thingie button?? I must find more things to link!! :-) )

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ok, NOW I get it.

Sexy, huh? What is it, you ask? Why it is the product of my weekend sock knitting class! I went to Charlotte Yarn to take a heal and toe technique class from Wendy of Wendy Knits. Awesome!! If all I had learned was Judy's Magic Cast-On, it would have totally been worth it! And the class was lots of fun, to boot. Charlotte Yarn is the first thing to make me want to move to Charlotte! Totally worth the two and a half hour drive, especially since it was for my birthday.... :-) Gotta love a celebration that just goes on and on!

While I was there, I got some sock yarn. I had to, for the class. That is my story and I am sticking with it, anyway! The one above is J Knits Superwash Me Sock. It is the finest sock yarn I have ever gotten ahold of, and still it seems to be working up huge. This seems to be a knitting theme for me! The color is really much more turquoise than it looks in the photo, and it has very, very little bits of variegation. Love! PLUS, I got some Silk Garden Sock, which I could not resist! I love Noro, no matter what anyone says.... AND, I got a skein of Dream in Color Smooshy. Ahhh, Smooshy. It is the most beautiful black, which has other colors shining through like a blackbird's wing. If it was shiny, I would say it was iridescent. It is so fabulous that I am saving it for when I am better at sock knitting!!

Also, I got to meet Cristi, aka TurtleGirl. She writes one of my favorite blogs, and I had no idea she worked at Charlotte Yarn until I emailed for advice after I registered for the class! Very exciting. She was very gracious and friendly, despite the fact that I probably came across as some kind of crazed stalker! I am putting off sending the "nice to meet you" email for a while, so maybe I seem less nutty... Wonder if that works? Anyway, I am not a crazy person, just someone who enjoys knitting news and Tabby Tuesday, and it was exciting to meet her and Wendy on the same day!!

Can you tell that I learned how to link things in my blog without including the whole url in the text just today?? I am the biggest dork when it comes to technology, which is scary considering what I do! And it seriously jeopardizes my status as a full-fledged nerd!! I console myself with the fact that Gibson, the father of CyberPunk, didn't own a computer when he wrote Neuromancer....

I feel some fabric madness coming on. I don't know what is coming over me, but I am developing a serious urge to sew something! And I am falling in love with the Barcelona Skirt by Amy Butler. I wouldn't want to sew something I already have the pattern for. That would just be silly! I may settle for one of the great bags whose pattern I already have.... Depends how practical I am feeling when I head to the fabric store, probably.

Ok, I am off to enjoy the rest of my vacation day! I have been cleaning all day, with a brief break for coffee with Susan. I love days off, wish I had more.... Happy day!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

This week doesn't seem to hate me, but it does seem to be trying to mess with my head....

First, what little bad news there is: I had to get my battery replaced. It was ten years old, so it had lived a long and useful life, and today was time for it to move on to greener pastures. The funny thing about the whole thing was the trip to Advance Auto Parts.... The lady who sold me the battery asked for my car's equivalent of name, rank and serial number. When I told her, her eyes actually got wide and she uttered this perplexing question: "Where IS your battery." Truly, I had no idea how to answer that question! My mouth opened and closed a couple of times, and I finally mumbled something like "um, I don't know... under the hood?" I sincerely had no clue that there were options to that question, that there were alternative battery placements!! Turns out mine is in the standard spot, which is sometimes not the case. Sometimes they are in strange places like the wheel well or under the backseat! All in all, one of the strangest questions anyone has ever asked me.....

The hilarity managed to continue, because the battery in my car was bolted in with a bracket that could have deterred thieves if the stupid thing had been made out of gold!! The very nice Advance Auto Man who was helping me, however, not only persevered, but did so with remarkable good humor!! Now I am good for another ten years, right?

Another mind bending thing that happened this week: I posted a lament for my late, great, beloved Malibu bag on Ravelry to see if anyone knew of any great knitting bag type things for potential replacements... What do you mean, bid for sympathy?? Me??? Anyway, some good suggestions and the kind regards of fellow knitters ensued, and get this, a VERY NICE girl named Tara SENT ME HERS!!!! Words cannot express my gratitude!!! I don't even know what to say about that!! Fortunately, she put her return address on the box so that I can send her something wonderful in return.... Love knitters, love Ravelry!!

I am going to have another piece of birthday cake. Yum.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Birthday update!

I followed a rainbow all the way home from work today. That has just GOT to be a good birthday omen, right? I would have provided a photo or two of the truly bizarre weather we were having this evening, but just as I pulled in the driveway, it faded away. It was all very picturesque. Sigh.

And my mommy made me a Texas Sheet Cake. She loves me. :-) I have not yet begun to make inroads into my birthday cake. Is there anything better than birthday cake for breakfast the day after??

I have made great progress on Kingscot. I am loving this pattern! My romance with the yarn has not ended, and the pattern has been very easy to memorize. I have some slight qualms about EVERY right side being a cable row, but I guess it cuts down on the counting required! I love the depth of the ribbing on this pattern. It is three inches high. Who would have thought that was the kind of detail that would capture me? There is just something about the proportions that is very pleasing.... Norah Gaughan is, as has been pointed out frequently, is a genius!

The back is almost done, and lovely though it is, I am starting to feel the temptation to start something new.... Drat, that Twist Collective debut! Since it is my birthday, happy birthday to me, I bought three patterns instantly! (And apparently it was lucky I got them when I did, 'cause they had technical difficulties soon after!) I have overcome my initial misgivings about paying their prices, probably partly due to the GREAT designs and the very high quality of the pattern writing. If Kingscot is anything to go by, or if the Ravelry finished objects are a standard for judgement, these are some of the most lovely and most reliable patterns available.... More about my favorites tomorrow when I have the energy to capture some pictures and think about things like yarns and queues!!

Better than the alternative....

I am 38. Thirty-eight. Acht-und-dreizig. How did this happen????