Thursday, March 26, 2009

Slow down, please...

Ok, this week? She is just flying by. If she could just slow down so I could get more things accomplished, that'd be great.

So, a brief report on my week, bullet point style...

  • The UTI is under control...woohoo! I'm feeling way better, and I'm back to the gym! Hated missing Sat. and Mon.
  • I'm still trying to finish purging my clothes. I get so far into the process, have to stop and never get to finish. Which means that for three days in a row I end up with sorted piles on my bed, which I then have to move so we can go to sleep, just to do it again the next day. Later, rinse, repeat. Argh.
  • I'm dangerously close to being in paper work hell again. I need ONE DAY to just do nothing but get caught up on paper work. The problem? I do not HAVE one day to devote to paper work. I do not seem to have one day to devote to cleaning my house, either, hence it is rather sty-like at the moment.  Gah.
  • Despite not having time for paper work or cleaning, I do manage to have time for the more important things in life, like SPINNING and KNITTING! Priorities, people!
  • I went to Cosy's house today for a spinning lesson to help broaden my spinning abilities. 'Twas fun, and I got a lot of my spinning questions answered. And I now know the difference between spinning woolen vs. worsted. Among other things, I learned that a) my default spinning mode is worsted and b) I spin left-handed, which is kind of weird because I am right-handed. 
  • Have you checked out the WIP progress bars over there to the right? Hey! I was down to only SIX WIPs! Can you believe it? Then I went and cast on the Lemongrass Bolero last night, because I saw a picture of it that someone in one of my Rav groups made, and I instantly and immediately had to start one for myself. I'm doing mine in Arucania Pomaire, a cotton, so it seems I'm phasing into my warmer weather knitting. This does not bode well for getting Cosima finished anytime soon. :P
  • And speaking of warmer weather...two weeks until we leave for Florida! Yeay! The travel plans for this trip have been a freakin' headache. I won't bore you with the details. Suffice it to say that despite my best attempts to fine reasonable airfares so we could fly, that ain't happening. So, we'll be driving. Fifteen hours each way. I'm trying to think of all the knitting time I'll have, because Kevin will, no doubt, want to do most of the driving. So, um, yeay. Lots of car knitting time. Hopefully we all make it there without killing one another. (Honestly? I do road trips with the kids all the time, no problem. But adding Kevin adds a whole other dimension. He is not a relaxed traveler, and knowing that stresses me out because I try to make our family travel -- as infrequent as it is -- have the least impact on him as possible. But there isn't much I can do about 15 hours in the car with two kids in the back seat, you know? I think our kids are good car travelers...but then I'm really good at tuning them out when they get wound up. Kevin? Not so much.)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Despite it all, it was a productive weekend...

And by "all," I mean the raging urinary tract infection I was dealing with all weekend. Gah! If you've had one of these, I need to say no more. If you're one of the fortunate ones who have never had one, thank God for your good fortune because UTIs are a bitch. They create the worst pain I have ever, ever had...and I've done labor, three c-sections, cracked ribs and a two week bout with viral meningitis. Seriously? Put all of those together and roll around in shards of glass, and you might then begin to approach UTI pain. I'm not joking. (I did go to the doctor today though, and am now on antibiotics and looking forward to this turning around soon.)

Anyway, knitting and spinning kept me sane this weekend. I seem to be on another little finishing binge, as I finally finished my second Soctoberfest sock! Yeay!

These were done in ShibuiKnits Sock yarn, Chinese Red (I think). This pattern was created by Kirsten Kapur of Through the Loops specifically for Soctoberfest, and I opted to do the cabled version. This was my first cabled sock, and while pretty, I'm not in a hurry to do another. (Now that I've said that, you know I've just upped the chances of me casting on for another cabled sock within the near future. LOL) I love knitting socks, and fingering weight yarn doesn't bother me, but cabling with it is a bit more futzy than I enjoy. Working through the chart did go pretty quickly though (um, when I worked on it! LOL), and I only have two little mis-cabled spots, which I didn't see until it was too late to go back and fix, and really? They're under my pant legs anyway. No one will see them, and unlike some knitting errors, I can live with 'em. ;)

(Contrary to what this picture would have you believe, both socks are actually the same height. The left must have scrunched down a bit as we were messing around taking photos. LOL)

And there was spinning-related productivity, too. Here is a picture of my Bunny Patch merino/angora from New Hue Handspuns in the Storm Clouds colorway. It is a two-ply and ended up coming in at a DK weight, but just.

It's so soft, and I love how you can see angora fibers popping out from the yarn. My kids and I enjoyed joking about me "spinning the bunny" while I was working with this fiber. That sounds so wrong, but it's funny at the same time. (You have to understand we here at Chez Beamer have a somewhat warped sense of humor.)

And here is the first skein of the merino/seacell from River's Edge Weaving Studio. I still have the second half to ply, but this is the first is a two-ply that is just on the edge between sport weight and DK. Already in this skein I've got about 226 yards, so I'm pretty pleased with that!

The color is actually not as bright as what this picture would have you believe. (The pictures, they are lying big time today!) Looking at the fiber (here and here), my eyes focused mainly on the pink and purple, but there are areas of a charcoal gray in it as well, and I was surprised to see, as I plied, just how much that gray really brought down the brightness of the purple and pink. I like it, but it was surprising! I'll try to take a truer picture after I finish plying the rest of it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sluggy Saturday...

I've been kind of under the weather the past couple days, so I opted to make today a slug day. You know...get up late, stay in my jammies, go nowhere, and just be a slug. It's been lovely. :) I've spent most of it catching up on my Netflix movies, spinning and knitting. I finished my Blackberry Jam socks! Yeay! I love them!

Not the greatest picture, but taking pictures of your own feet is never easy, and the cat was trying to "help," so this is the best I could manage. Anyway, I really love this yarn. The colors are just awesome, making a plain ol' ribbed sock look more exciting than it really is. LOL

Can you tell how dry the skin on my legs is? I seriously need to moisturize!

No spinning pictures, though I am nearing the end of spinning the merino/sea cell that I showed you the other day. I'm hoping to finish spinning it tonight and then ply it tomorrow. I've heard it's good to let singles rest on the bobbin overnight before plying, to help set the twist. No idea if that is valid or not, but it sounds sensible.

I did finally soak and thwack my Bunny Patch merino/angora that I plied a while back. I also have no idea if it matters if you wait to do that or not. I just kept forgetting, and I really can't see how it would matter. It's hanging to dry right now, so pictures will be forthcoming.

As for the movies...let's see. I started my movie marathon last night, actually, watching Hancock. It was good, but it was not what I was expecting. I felt so incredibly sad for Will Smith's character throughout most of the movie. I was expecting more ha-ha moments. And there was humor in it, but more ironic humor than real laugh-out-loud humor. At least it ended on an up note, for which I was quite grateful.

Today, I started watching Burn After Reading, which really should have been named Burn After Watching the First Twenty Minutes because that was all I could watch. It was STOO-PID. Gah. :P With Brad Pitt, John Malkovich and George Clooney, I was expecting better. A waste of good talent, frankly.

So then I put on Kill Bill Vol. 1. I've been wanting to watch this for a while and finally rented it. I like action movies, and I don't mind some gore, but holy freakin' cow...that was one seriously eff-ed up movie! I don't think I could have watched it had I not been spinning at the same time, thus had my attention diverted through much of the gore. It was pretty much just under two hours of Uma Thurman killing a bazillion people, and I can only imagine that, after a while, the effects people had to have been like, "Ok, set up ANOTHER massive quantity of squirting blood over here..." Still, I'm intrigued enough by it to rent Vol. 2. to see if she kills off everyone else and to answer the burning question: does she get to kill Bill? I assume she does, otherwise what would be the point? But I could be wrong.

Exhausting my languishing Netflix stash, I turned to my DVR, on which I had waiting for me Enter the Dragon. Ok, so, as much as I'm enjoying my kickboxing and martial arts classes, I've really never felt the need to watch martial arts movies. However, this one is apparently a Bruce Lee classic, and it gets talked about a fair bit, so I thought I'd check it out. Um...yeah. Well. Hm. Not sure what to say about it. It's a 1973 martial arts movie, so many aspects of it were quite dated, humorously so. I guess the fight scenes were ok, though I'm not really a good judge of that. The plot lines were pretty thin, and somewhat confusing at times, but then I don't think plot was really it's main point. Over all, it seemed hugely corny to me, but I don't pretend to be the movie's target audience, either. And I have to assume that Bruce Lee wins in the end over the bad guy, though I can't vouch for that as my interest was not held enough to watch the last 15 minutes of the movie. Instead, I went outside to photograph my socks. LOL

I really think I need to update my Netflix and DVR queues and make sure I've got some COMEDIES coming my way next. :}

Friday, March 20, 2009

I'm getting that itch... cast on something new. Gah! Just when it looked like my WIP list was going to get to it's lowest point in memorable history -- I have three pair of socks, all in various points of second sock doneness -- instead, I'm potentially going to get sidetracked by something new and pretty and fun. I really should try to resist.

Let's talk about the socks...

...the Socktoberfest sock? Seriously...I should just bite the bullet and finish the damn thing. That cable chart really does go pretty quickly, and once I'm through with that, its just a toe and it's done. I could have that done in two days, easy. Maybe even one, if I opted not to shower, do laundry, go to the gym or feed my family. 

...the Blackberry Jam sock? I'm on the boring knit even part of the foot between the heel decreases and the toe. It's an easy, mindless knitting sock, though, so it would make good TV knitting this weekend. 

...the Monkeys? I just started the second Monkey yesterday, after going back and ripping out the toe of the first and making the foot longer (I was going to wait until I'd done the second sock, but knowing the first wasn't right was making me CRAZY and I just couldn't let it be, LOL). The Monkey pattern moves fast, and I do need to get that one done before the end of the month since it is a March KAL project.

So, if I've got three socks that should all, theoretically speaking, go quickly...why aren't I getting any of them done? Oh yeah. Because I'm working on three different socks and not giving any one of them my full attention. Knitting ADD strikes again! ARGH.

The only other project I have on the needles (aside from some ongoing afghan projects) is Cosima, which I really do want to finish, but with the weather getting warmer, I'm just not that into it. I fear it is going to end up in the same fate as the other Malabrigo sweater I had going that I finally frogged...if I leave it to finish for fall, I will (hopefully) have lost more weight, and it will be too big, thus I'll frog it instead of making a sweater that will be too big. If only I could see the future on that one. (Crystal ball, anyone?)

(Oh yeah. I still have that Ribbon Lace Scarf on the needles, too...I think that will be a Florida-driving project, though. Small, easy...maybe it will even get finished! LOL)

I'm getting the urge to knit spring and summer things. I'm thinking about doing this Drawstring Raglan (Interweave Knits, Summer 2008). I bought the yarn for it before the shop closed last year, and my friend Heather from the shop made a pretty mono-color version of it with buttons instead of the drawstring and a v-neck instead of the flappy bits at the top edges. 

Or maybe this: Bella Paquita. So very pretty. Not sure if I'm up for the challenge of that lace edging, though. 

Or possibly this: Phyllo Yoked Pullover. Its done in cotton, so it would work for warmer weather. And it would possibly fulfill my itch to do a yoked pattern.

I really could use a summery cardi in brown...I've got some Silky Tweed that'd been hanging around for such a project, and I've also got some brown Schulana Merino Cotton that would work, too. I could do a Hey, Teach! for myself with either of those, I think. I liked how my mom's turned out last year. Hm. All I know is I do NOT want to knit something that involves miles of stockinette. Decimal from the new Knitty is pretty, too, though. Ahh! Too many options!

Decisions, decisions....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spinning, talking cats, and messages from booze

Behold! The first half of this pretty pink and purple merino/sea cell is now spun...

As I progress in this adventure we call spinning, I'm trying to become more mindful of what I'm doing. One thing I'm trying to remember to do is to think ahead to my plans for plying before I begin spinning. So far, I've mostly just spun my fiber, then taken the bobbins and plied them, which works fine if the singles are evenly distributed between an equal number of bobbins. I've found, however, that doesn't usually end up being the case.

This time, I had the forethought to divide the fiber into two equal sections before beginning. I even weighed them. So, technically, I've got an even split of two ounces each, thus I should be able to do a two-ply without much left over on one bobbin at the end. I realize this depends on me spinning both halves the same way, which is not all that likely, but hey...I'm trying. (I have no idea if this is how knowledgeable spinners go about things, but it seemed to make sense to me.)

This fiber is, in a word, delicious. It spins sooooooooo nicely and feels so good as it goes through my fingers. The staple length is long enough that I'm able to draw it out and spin pretty darned fine and fairly consistently. (Or so it seems. The truth will come out on that issue when I begin to ply.)

I think I'm also doing better with the over-spinning. But again, plying will prove me either right or wrong on that.

And do you notice that sunshine on my fiber? Yeah! It is BEAUTIFUL out there today! Had to take pictures outside. But then, that invites company...

And friends James, Bailey and I hope you had a lovely St. Patrick's Day yesterday!

That's a mug full of Irish coffee sitting in front, which I drank last night, NOT this morning before creating the talking cat montage, thankyouverymuch. ;)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Warning: Pictures Ahead...

A fair few, to boot. So sit back with your favorite beverage in hand and allow me to take you on a leisurely stroll through this past weekend. And just a head's up: if you aren't into American history, scroll to the end of the post because there are indeed some fiber-y and FO-related pictures down there.

Ok...we begin our tour at Mount Vernon, home of George and Martha Washington (the US's first president and first lady, for those of you in other non-US locales), located on the lovely Potomac River just south of Washington, D.C. Kevin and I drove down Saturday morning, and we arrived around noon-ish. It wasn't the brightest of days, but the rain didn't start in full until after we were mostly done walking around, so I can't complain too much.

George and family were on hand to greet us when we arrived...

I assume these are meant to be life-sized statues. However, I'm 5' 4" and according to one guide, Martha was only 4' 11". She's bent over a bit in this statue and is still nearly as tall as me. I don't remember...maybe the statues were on some sort of plinth that added height. Anyway...

We watched the introductory video about Mount Vernon that was narrated by Alex Trebec, which I found an odd choice of Mount Vernon spokesperson, but whatever. From all of our Founding Fathers studies that we did last school year, I have to say that the video was really a very accurate account of many George Washington hightlights. Accuracy. I like that in a history-related experience, and it isn't always guranteed.

From there, we wandered about and I soon realized that Mount Vernon is lousy with sheep. There were sheep at every turn! How cool is that?

At one point, we actually stumbled upon this little guy...

...who had literally just been born moments before. (Not so clear in the picture, but the umbilical cord is still hanging out the back of Mom. LOL)

With so many sheep around, its no wonder they needed this...

...the spinning room! There was also a huge floor loom in this room, but I wasn't able to get a very good picture of it.! :)

The line to wait to get in to tour the actual house was a bit lengthy, about a 45 minute wait in the drizzle, with me hiding my camera under my jacket to try and keep it dry. (It was at this point Kevin and I were most glad to have come without the kids, lest we be hearing, "I'm cold!" "How much longer?" "Are we almost done?" and other general whining.) Pictures were not allowed inside the house itself, so I snapped a few from the outside.

Here's the house from the end of the bowling green...

(I posed the question to my husband as to why it is known as a bowling green...he didn't know...I guessed it was because they would play lawn bowling there, and he rolled his eyes clearly indicating he thought I was silly. Well, according to Wikipedia, that is EXACTLY why it was named that! And what's more, before the lawn mower was invented, sheep used to be grazed on it in order to keep it closely trimmed. So there! I was right, AND sheep were involved!)

( case Cheryl is looking at this picture above and wondering, yes, I did Photoshop something out of it! LOL)

The house features a cupola...

...which I think is pretty neat. I could imagine looking up and seeing ol' George standing up there, looking out over the Potomac behind the house, or watching the sheep bowl on the front lawn...ahem...

The view from behind the house...spectacular!

I could so sit out on the back porch and sip my morning coffee whilst drinking in this vista, couldn't you? Apparently so could over 600 people in one year, which was how many guests the Washingtons are reported to have played host to at one point. No wonder they had their own private quarters!

We visited the museum last, after warming up and getting a bite of lunch in the food court. Standing around in the damp so much was wearing on us, so Kevin wasn't much in the mood for posing too animatedly with our original Commander-in-Chief, but he humored me nonetheless...

I told him I needed photographic evidence that he actually went on this trip with me. LOL

Those were Saturday's highlights. I'll spare you the gory details that were involved in both finding our Annapolis hotel that evening as welll as being assigned a room that a) did not have a family of ants in the bathroom and b) that did have a working heater. We did, however, score an excellent crab-oriented dinner at Mike's Crab House...totally hopping place. Gotta love fresh seafood.

Sunday dawned just as rainy as Saturday had been, but thankfully the Homespun Yarn Party was indoors. ;) It was also packed! We arrived right before noon, when it opened (and yes, I said "we," as Kevin was going to just walk through it with me as he had nothing else to do), and there was a line of close to 200 people serpentining around, waiting to get in. My dear husband's words? "You've GOT to be KIDDING!" Not that there was a line, per se, but that there was a line of this many people waiting to get into a yarn event. Poor guy just has no idea how many of us there are. LOL

At that point, he opted to take his chances in the rain and wander around outside while I enjoyed the yarn and braved the crowds. It was lovely. Lots of very nice stuff. I was only going to buy roving, but you know how that goes. Yarn at these things just reaches out and grabs you and won't let you leave without it.

The two on the left are Vesper sock yarns from Knitterly Things from right up here in Pittsburgh (the red, black and gray one being for socks for my son, as he loves those colors...the colorway? "Hell Fire." LOL). The pink and orange is Sock Hop sock yarn by Dancing Leaf Farm in Barnesville, MD. And the blue colorway (Poseiden's Revenge, I think?), is some cashmere and silk Gaia lace from Dragonfly Fibers, who shared a booth with The Sanguine Gryphon (who is just too cute!).

And of course...fiber...

The first is a Crash into Ewe roving, colorway Bed of Roses. It is a Merino/Targhee/and something else blend...I'll have to double check on that!

The middle one is unlabled so I have no idea what colorway it is, but it is from Three Irish Girls. I've often wished TIG sold roving, so it was awesome to find some at the show! I've bought from TIG online a couple of times, so it was nice to meet Sharon -- and absolute doll when it comes to customer service! -- in person! I meant to get back to her booth and pick up a skein of one of her new colorways she was sneak previewing there, but her booth was always very busy when I went by, so I never got to do so. Bummer. :( (I believe she is officially unveiling her spring line of new colors tomorrow, though, so check it out!)

The two on the right are from Serendipitous Ewe, Happenstance Roving, South African Wool, in the Tulip colorway. I saw some yarn there also in this colorway...very pretty! Nice springy colors. :)

I bought two other things at the show as well, but they are for a swap partner, so I can't show them to you here! But they're yummy! :)

Lastly, the fruits of my many hours of car and hotel knitting this weekend! First, a FINISHED Februarly Lady Sweater!

Yes! Look at those sleeves! Note the length! Yes! They are about the same exact freakin' length as shown on the pattern. The same length I've been fighting for over SIX MONTHS. And guess what? The length is perfect. I am stupid. But at least I have a finished sweater that fits wonderfully and is light enough that I can still get some wear out of this year. Wore it today, in fact. Perfect!

Lastly... first finished Monkey sock. Looks lovely, no? Yep. Does it fit my foot? No. No it does not. It is exactly 3/4" too short. That is about how long one pattern repeat is. And I measured it and thought, "No, I can't do one more repeat or I'll need to do toe decreases within it and gawd I don't want to do THAT." Of course, this was me measuring the sock in the car on my lap, after I knit it in the car and in line waiting to get into the HYP and then in the car again. I should know better. Again...I am an idiot. My plan is to knit sock #2 then go back and rip the toe out of #1, do another repeat and redo the toe. Damn. :::sigh:::

I also made significant progress on my 2nd Blackberry Jam sock. No pictures of that. But all in all, a very good knitting weekend!

Friday, March 13, 2009


...bad blogging week! Sorry 'bout that!

Happy to report that my restless funk from Sunday passed, for the most part. It's still been a weird week. But it's FRIDAY now, thank goodness, so I'm just chalking it up to full moon-induced hormone imbalances. LOL It's as good an excuse as anything else, right?

Ok, so, I feel like I probably took pictures of something blog-worthy this week, but I can't remember what and I haven't the gumption right this moment to check my camera, so this will be a picture-less post. How about I just tell you the noteworthy things I can think of? Ok? Ok!

Big news! I've picked my February Lady Sweater back up and am successfully knitting the second sleeve, which I previously started knitting inside out (twice), which caused the sweater to go into a six-month time out. I'd really like to wear this puppy before it gets too warm. The Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool is light enough to make it a good spring sweater, even if the color (a rusty red) is much more amenable to fall. 

At any rate, I tried it on before starting the sleeve, just wanting to make sure it still fit ok, as 3/4 of my current wardrobe is in a pile to go to Goodwill at the moment because it's all too big. (Yeah. That's a mixed blessing. And the fact that my Lotus Blossom Tank that I knit last summer is among the woefully too-big? That's really painful. I can't bring myself to give that away just yet, even though it is beyond any hope of being able to be worn.) Thankfully, the FLS started out a little snug due to the the gauge difference of the Silky Wool and the yarn the pattern called for. I was good with that, though, as it is also fairly stretchy and I wanted it a little more fitted than baggy. But it fits like a dream now, which makes me even more anxious to get it done. 

I also decided, in trying it on, that I am only going to do short sleeves that will end just above the elbow. My one finished sleeve now ends just below the elbow and looks stupid, so I knew I needed to do something else with it, but rather than knit them long or even to the 3/4 length called for, I'm going to do short. Short just feels right.  

My other impetus for picking it back up this week is that I am going to the Homespun Yarn Party in Maryland this weekend, and I'd like to be able to wear it there. This is a total spur-of-the-moment road trip. Cosy will have a booth there, along with a bunch of other local, independent dyers/spinners, so there should be a huge amount of unique fiber-y goods to be had. It is a four-hour drive from here, and while I'm not against an eight-hour round trip to go to an event that lasts only five hours (I've done it before, I'm kinda crazy like that), I managed to bribe the husband with the promise of American history so that he'd a) go with me and b) drive, giving me 8+ hours of in-car knitting time. :) 

So we'll be going on Saturday to Mount Vernon (neither of us have been there before, and Cheryl has made it sound wonderfully interesting in her blog!), spend the night in Annapolis and then he'll drop me at the yarn event Sunday then we'll come home. It should be a nice little getaway for the two of us...we don't get to do that very often. Not sure how he'll spend his time while I'm at the yarn party...I doubt he'll go to it with me, though it would probably be to his benefit to do so as I'd be less likely to spend as much if he was there looking over my shoulder. LOL ;), that's all the news that is new here for the moment. Hopefully next week's blog posts will be more plentiful than this week's have been. I should have some nice pictures to share from our trip, too! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What's up?

That's the question I'm asking myself today. Maybe it has something to do with the time change. Maybe it's the almost full moon (not that I can see it tonight for all the rain clouds). Maybe it's just some cyclical thing. I don't know what it is. 

All I do know is that I'm restless. I can't focus. I can't knit more than a row at a time without putting it down for something else. 

I'm feeling uncharacteristically anxious, My mood is dark. I keep imagining various scenarios about things that have been on my mind, none particularly good, and it isn't helping. 

I keep listening to the same songs over and over, songs that match this unsettled mood...or are they feeding it? Hard to tell. 

I've had sudden, intense feelings of emptiness lately, almost a loneliness, a longing for things that are out of reach and outside of my control. The feelings come out of nowhere. They catch me short, and I have to consciously push them away. Perhaps today is an extension of this? A gray, rainy day with too little else of substance to keep my mind otherwise occupied?

I have days like this (maybe we all do?) -- acute, not chronic -- but I don't like them. 

Tomorrow is Monday. I can get back to routine. I can go to the gym and perhaps work out whatever it is that is wound up inside me. Hopefully tomorrow will be more settled.

Friday, March 6, 2009


First four chart repeats on the first Monkey sock. Pattern by Cookie A.; yarn by Rio de la Plata.

...I could just knit socks? I love to knit socks. Socks make me happy. I love sweaters and scarves and shawls, too, but they take so much longer for me to make than socks. (Well, ignore the fact I've still not finished my Soctoberfest socks, ok? Usually socks are quick for me!)

Just for the record, I am publicly stating that I fully intend to finish this pair of socks before the end of March (as it is a March KAL project), and I also fully intend to finish the second Soctoberfest sock as well as the second Blackberry Jam sock before Spring Fling in April. AND, I really, really, really want to finish my FLS by then too, so I can take it with me and wear it. It would be divine if I could also finish Cosima by then, but I have the feeling it will be too hot to wear that by then, but I really don't want to leave it languishing all summer, either. We'll see. :::sigh:::

These goals would go so much better if I could just resist casting on anything else! I did successfully manage to not cast on yet another scarf this past week. While I really wanted to do a fun pink-and-black/Good 'n Plenty-themed scarf (and I still do, frankly) (I have the feeling that bright pink is suddenly becoming my new teal...who'da thunk?), it is March, people, and I am thinking if I keep knitting wool things, Mother Nature might get the wrong idea that I'd like more snow. And I so don't.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

On the needles, off the needles...

...there's been knitting happening here.

First, finished the back of my Cosima.

I forgot how much I hate having to do decreases within a lace pattern (as experienced first in my mom's Hey, Teach! last summer...gah!), and having to do so required me to tink back several times when I screwed up the chart after decreasing. But it turned out looking pretty nice. The extra six stitches I ended up with on the one shoulder? Yeah. I'm ignoring them and am choosing to be in a state of blissful denial that they will cause me problems later. Please do not try and tell me otherwise. Thanks.

I'd love to have this finished in time to take with me to St. Louis in April...but will it be too hot in St. Louis in April to wear wool? I have no idea.

I do have one front to Cosima started, but I've come down with a case of knitter's ADD, getting sidetracked by some other things. First, a baby gift for our neighbor's new baby...

Two pair of baby socks. The pair on the left will fit the child when he is maybe a year old? Heh. At least that's how big they look, despite the fact that I made them roughly to the dimensions of a supposed 3-month-old baby's foot. Thus, I made a second pair, casting on 28 stitches instead of 40. Not sure how well they'll fit either, but's the thought that counts, right? (And the Dropkick Murphys CD is apropos of nothing...not part of the was just sitting there, so I used it to help illustrate the sock sizes. And because I love the Dropkick Murphys.)

One thing about baby socks...they take, like, NO time and virtually NO yarn to make. Great for sock yarn leftovers (which didn't dawn on me until I made the first pair using a brand new skein of Harry Potter Opal, the Harry and Ron colorway. Duh. Still have plenty to make a full sized pair with it, though. :})

Finished another afghan swap square...

Can I tell you how big a fan I am becoming of the mitred square? They are so much fun to make, they go fairly quickly, and this one, in Noro Silk Garden, was amazingly fun to watch emerge in its various colors.

Lastly, another KAL with the Loopy Spring Fling group on Ravelry. This month the theme is doing a Cookie A. pattern. Almost all of her patterns are sock patterns, and seeing as I'm still working on my second blackberry jam sock, and I have yet to finish my second Socktoberfest sock, and I just did those baby socks, I didn't think I wanted to add more socks to my life just now, so I wasn't going to participate. But...

I've never made a pair of Cookie's Monkey socks, and I feel like I'm probably one of the only knitters in the world who hasn't (kind of like the EZ Baby Surprise Jacket, which I've also never done), and I've had this gorgeous hank of Rio de la Plata multi-colored yarn in my sock yarn stash for a while now and I've been dying to use it. Dude. Check out those colors! I'm only a few rows in on the twisted rib cuff, but...dude! The colors! They are awesome! The picture doesn't do them justice, really (not to mention the actual knitted bit is blurry...just look at the ball...bask in it's prettiness). I cannot wait to see how the sock looks once I get into the actual patterned part of it.

:::happy sigh:::

Monday, March 2, 2009

Project Spectrum

PS-Green Mosaic 1-sm

Project Spectrum 4 officially started today (well, yesterday, as it is now after midnight). I've never participated in PS before, but I'm looking forward to it. The theme for this incarnation of PS is Cardinal Directions. (You can read more about it on Lolly's blog.) The first direction is north, which is associated with the season of winter and the color green. Those things do not go together in my mind, so I'm using these elements to try and stretch my mind a bit.

The "rules" for PS are pretty loose...they're more guidelines than they are hard and fast rules. That was a little disconcerting to me at first, but now I'm starting to warm to it. I'm free to explore the themes however feels right to me. My goal is to try and do something related to the theme every day throughout PS, even if it is something small. For the first day, I decided to put together this "green" mosaic. The first 11 pictures are my own, while the last 5 are random ones I pulled from Flickr. I'll probably do several mosaics, just because I love the medium of photography. Future ones will probably be more deliberate than these random photos, but I figured using photos I already had on hand was a good place to start. So, we begin...north, green, winter...  


By the way, I'm happy to report that my cold from last week never got too far off the ground. That's the second germy bullet I've dodged this winter (knock on wood). I'm crediting my recent health binge (three months now of regular gym activity and eating healthier) and my quick intake of zinc and echinacea at the first sign of a cold for boosting my immune system. 

And speaking of my three months at the gym, this Tuesday will mark 14 weeks of kickboxing, martial arts and eating better, and my weight loss is now down to 25 pounds! I was quietly freaking for a bit because it seemed to have stopped, but it picked up again. I guess that's how it is going to be. If I can remember that, I'll be all right. What's very cool is that, while my clothes have been getting looser over the weeks, I finally got to a point last week where I could not wear my old jeans anymore. They were literally falling off me, and I was constantly hiking them up and looked like a dork. So I went shopping, and guess what? I'm now wearing jeans three sizes smaller than the ones I was wearing back in November when I first started this whole crazy kickboxing adventure! Dude! How cool is that? Color me happy! :)