Saturday, July 28, 2007

The 500 Game

I saw this on Denise's blog and thought it was fun! Name 5 things you'd like to have 500 of:

1. 500 skeins of yarn. Duh.
2. 500 days in Paris.
3. 500 days in Ocean City, NJ.
4. 500 square feet additional living space for use as a craft room.
5. 500 guitars for WT.


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Friday, July 27, 2007

Progress (in a way) and paternal idiosyncracies

The Summertime Tunic has been frogged. The Zen Garden Stole has been frogged. I have cast on for a new project, which hopefully will be quick: a shirt, skirt, and cloche for my father's Blythe doll, Bridget.

Why yes, you did indeed read that correctly: my father's Blythe doll. Dad's always been a smidge quirky, but now that he's living on his own, the quirkiness (read: utter weirdness) has exploded exponentially. I generally get a heads-up when Dad says, "Well I was on the Internet the other day, and I got to thinking about [Blythe dolls/circus throwing knives/didgeridoos/fire hydrants/hurdy-gurdies], so I went on Ebay and I bought one."

And yes, he has at least one of each of the aforementioned things. Actually, he made the didgeridoo out of PVC, and he is currently making the hurdy-gurdy. I'm sure you can look them up on Wikipedia if you truly want to know what they are.

Now, my dad is truly a cool dude. This is the same man that worked in a flight simulation lab for the last 16 years of his career, and he also took a trans-Pacific sailing trip at the age of 65, and he did tai-chi before any other people I knew did it, and he built a grandfather clock by hand, and he does the New York Times crossword every day (and finishes it), and he's one of the best cooks you'll ever meet. So I'll sigh and nod and make clothes for his doll, because it makes him happy and I love him. :o)

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I am fed up

I started the Summertime Tunic for many reasons. One, it looks cute. Two, it doesn't require much yarn. Three, it was supposed to be good airplane knitting. And four, it was supposed to be EASY. What a load of crap.

Go-around #1: Cast on on size 6 needles as the pattern called for. I substituted yarn, but why bother to swatch? I don't swatch. I am an idiot. I was essentially knitting a fishing net; it was ferociously unattractive. To the frog pond.

Go-around #2: Cast on again on size 4s. Ah, much better. The stockinette looks good, although this yarn (Hempathy) is not so forgiving when it comes to uneven stitches. Whatever, it'll block out. Begin ribbing. Ribbing looks like shit. Rip back to before ribbing. Whole evening wasted trying to pick up 226 stitches with a miniscule crochet hook.

Go-around #3: Stitches have been picked up and placed correctly back on the size 4 circs. Knit a few more rows, switch to size 2 circs for ribbing. Ribbing is tight, but I can live with that. Attempt to join another ball of yarn and drop stitch. I didn't notice the dropped stitch until 2 rows later; how the hell do you pick up a dropped stitch in 1x1 rib?? Throw WIP to floor in disgust and pout.

I still think this is a cute pattern, and it should be easy, but damn if it isn't giving me trouble. I give up. Any suggestions as to what I should make with 7 balls of Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy?


I think I might also frog the Zen Garden Stole. It's nice, but it is also rife with mistakes, and the Kureyon could be put to better use. I'm thinking I might use it to make a Clapotis. I'm fairly certain that I could make that without too much pulling out of hair and being driven to drink. Fairly certain.


While I'm at it, I will probably also frog the Green Tea Raglan. It's just too small, the seams are crappy, and it's wool, and I just know that no matter how damn cold it gets this winter I am not going to wear wool directly next to my skin. I have enough yarn to make a nice cardigan with it, and I sure do hate to see good yarn go to waste. Why let it languish in the corner as an unworn FO when it could languish in the corner as a half-finished WIP? At least it will have potential as a WIP.


Much as I love summer, I have to say I kinda have a hankering for cooler weather so I can start rippling and granny-ing and vintage stripe-ing. I bought one skein of almost every color of Caron Simply Soft, which is enough yarn to make at least two blankies. Wheeeee! I love blankies!

Thanks for reading my rant. More positive content to be posted shortly.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

I Heart New Mexico, or a Study in Superlatives

Wow, I really and truly do love New Mexico. The license plates call it the "Land of Enchantment", and as corny as that sounds, it's absolutely true. So now you must suffer throught my photos. If you really want to suffer, go to my Flickr site and check out the other 50 gajillion pictures that I didn't post here.

As you can see in this photo, WT is just as excited as I was to see the colorful rock formations! The scenery is absolutely magnificent pretty much all the time.

This sign tells you all about the different colored rocks and how they got there and how old they are and stuff. Carson National Forest varies greatly in its landscape; up near Taos, where the elevation is higher, there are forest meadows and whispering pines and it is lovely and peaceful.

This is a naturally occuring depression in the cliff near Abiquiu. You can hear your echo!

This here is Tent Rock National Monument. These wacky rock formations were all over the place. We hiked to the top of a large hill/small mountain, which was no easy feat considering we were already at an elevation of approximately 7500 feet above sea level. But I came, I hiked, I conquered, and damn it, I took pictures.

My cousin Amanda commented as we passed by here, "This boulder wasn't here the last time I made this hike." Yikes.

It's monsoon season in northern New Mexico right now, and every afternoon you could see a thunderstorm somewhere off in the distance. It was quite lovely and refreshing.
We got to go to Ghost Ranch, up near Abiquiu, and I tread on the very same earth that Georgia O'Keeffe tread upon, and laid eyes upon the very cliffs and sky and landscapes that inspired her magnificent paintings. Wow. A dream come true.

Mother Nature at her best, n'est-ce pas?

Why yes, I would like to live in this cabin overlooking Abiquiu Lake. Thank you very much.

Here's me! In front of the very cliffs that Georgia O'Keeffe painted! Holy crap!

Downtown Santa Fe is a great town. Here is a market on the steps of the Governor's Palace. Only Native Americans can display and sell their wares here. WT got me the most gorgeous turquoise and silver ring for our 7th wedding anniversary here. Thank you honey!!

Here's the Rio Grande on the way to Taos. There were many kayakers and rafters on the river this day.

WT got to go up in a glider, and he said it was absolutely exhilirating! I'll go next time.

We had a home-cooked authentic Mexican meal while staying with my aunt and uncle. These are chiles rellanos, but they kept falling apart, so my cousin solved the problem with toothpicks. Henceforth, they were referred to as Frankenpeppers. (And mighty tasty too, I might add.)

Look! I'm dwelling in a cliff at Bandelier National Monument!

Here's most of us at Tent Rocks: from left, Jessica (my cousin's daughter), my cousin Amanda, my Uncle Bob hiding in the back, WT, et moi. Missing: Aunt Donna, Giovanni (Amanda's son), and the Banana. They were home.

Yay! Happy family portrait in the aunt and uncle's backyard.
How could I go to Taos and not stop in here? I mean, honestly.
Behold, great beautiful hanks of luscious yarn.
Can you say 'heaven'? Alas, I did not purchase even one luscious skein, as I really couldn't justify the cost. It's pricy stuff, ya know?

Back home to reality. Here's a Baby B.A.G.S. I'm making for a friend of mine who's pregnant. It's much bigger now.
Here's Joey trying to eat the Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono. So far, so good. Just need to finish this.
Why you lookin' at me like that? I wasn't doin' nothin'. Fo' real, yo.
And now for your moment of Zen: a dark phase swallowtail that emerged from its chrysalis right outside my front door. Thank you Mother Nature!

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

David Blaine Street Magic 2: The Sequel

I so love YouTube. This is effin' hilarious.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Flying = knitting

  • Flight from Philadelphia to Houston: 3 hours knitting time
  • Flight from Houston to Albuquerque: 1 hour knitting time, 30 minutes frogging time
  • Stay in Santa Fe: 4 hours total re-casting on and knitting time
  • Flight from Albuquerque to Houston, with time spent in holding pattern and a diversion to Austin because of thunderstorms in Houston: 4 hours knitting time
  • Cart ride from gate E24 to C29 in Houston to catch flight to Philadelphia: 3 minutes whilst hanging on for dear life
  • Flight from Houston to Philadelphia: 2 hours 45 minutes knitting time

Sleeping in your own bed: 9 hours = priceless

Pics to follow!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Vacation knitting

Since we are flying from Philadelphia to Houston and Houston to Alburquerque on Thursday, I know I need to bring some knitting or crocheting with me. But what? It needs to be pretty small, and also pretty mindless as I'll be entertaining the Banana on the plane. I'm currently working on both the baby sweater and baby blanket, however I need my Mason-Dixon book with me for directions for the sweater, and the blanket is getting too big. I thought about the Green Gable, but again, decreases and transfers of stitches and whatnot makes it too complicated. So I've decided to cast on for the Summertime Tunic, and that will be travelling with me to Santa Fe and back. One set of needles. One page of instructions. Seven small balls of lightweight yarn. Perfect.

Wow, could it be a little friggin' hotter around here? Sheesh. Today it's supposed to go up to 97 degrees with about 80% humidity. I'm trying to get work done around the house so I don't feel guilty when we go to spend 4 hours at the pool. We were there for several hours yesterday, and it was nice. Thank God for swim clubs. And central air.

Not much else going on. I'll talk to you when I get back. Later alligators!

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

An FO and 2 WIPs

Hello all. I am somewhat fatigued, and I have no photos pour vous, but I'm posting anyhow because it's been awhile and I feel like it. So there.

I finally finished the Crochet Crop Cardigan by Monica Brown. I'm pretty gosh darn pleased with it too, I might add. The color is good, the shape is good, the fit is better than I expected, and all that good stuff. The pattern originally called for 4 buttons, but I had 3 big buttons that looked really good, so I sewed those puppies on, and there you have it. I used 5 skeins of Brown Sheep Company Cotton Fleece, so the cost of the sweater was under $50 if you include the buttons. I find this to be a tremendous bargain for something so darn cute. One of these days, when I get my lazy butt around to it, I'll post some pictures. Monica's patterns are really cute - you should go check them out! Very well written too, which is always a crowd pleaser.

I found out my friend Gloria is preggers, so I am making a Baby B.A.G.S. (big-ass granny square) and the Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono from Mason-Dixon Knitting. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to avoid ginormous loops of yarn on your edges when you are casting on extra stitches using the backward loop method? I'm finished casting on for the sleeves, and I think I'll be able to hide the extra yarn in the seams, but it would have been nice to avoid this altogether. Let me know.

I also found out that my next-door-neighbor's grandson's wife is pregnant with twins. Looks like I'll be making the Tiramisu Baby Blanket by Alicia Paulson for those babies. I really like to crochet, but I've found that I'm not a huge fan of following crochet patterns (except for Monica's, because they are short and sweet). Many crochet patterns are eighty bajillion pages long, because it's possible that you need to write instructions for each darn row, unlike knitting. I like Alicia Paulson's blankie because it is literally one page long and the repeat is over two rows and it is just easy and it looks pretty and it looks complicated too, so I can impress people. And that's what it's really all about. Okay, not really, but it's fun to impress people anyways.

I need to get started on my Green Gable again. I put that on hold for a while as I finished the Crop Cardi. I have a bunch of summery tops I want to knit, and it would be nice to finish them in a season when I could actually wear them, rather than waiting until next year. However, I'm feeling the afghan urge coming on again. I started a ripple, and I really want to make a Vintage Stripe Afghan by Bella Dia, and I have an idea for a nine-square granny using 9 different variegated yarns that I think will look pretty nifty when all's said and done. And I have to crochet 3 baby blankies. Woo. But all that double crochet, it's all so easy and fast and satisfying...

Maybe I just won't work anymore. I'm sure WT won't mind if I just sit my ass on the sofa 24/7 and crochet afghans.

Har dee har har.

Another reason that I have not posted for a little while is because all of my attention and energy is being sucked into Ravelry. I can't wait until everybody can join. It's so fun. I'm not even sure why it's fun, it just is.

This will probably be my last post until next week, as the fam and I are going to Santa Fe on Thursday. I am very much looking forward to this. We'll be staying with my aunt and uncle (free lodging), and my cousin will be there with her kids (free babysitting). So it'll be good. Not to mention they're only a stone's throw from Taos - can you say Georgia O'Keeffe? Like one of my favorite artists ever? Dude, I so hope we get to visit Ghost Ranch. That would totally make my day. My week, even. Bah, it'll be fun no matter what.

My head hurts. I'm going to bed. Thanks for reading my rant. Talk to youse guys soon.

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