Monday, May 30, 2005

Wake Up and Dream

Leah suggested a couple of ways to join the the little fishies, and actually, I hadn't given it much thought until I started putting them together. I planned a garter stitch join thatI learned (I think) from Cottage Creations:

It's a pretty join and works only when joining two garter stitched pieces side-to-side. All you do is join "ridge" [the part shaped like "(" ] to "ditch" [the part shaped like ")"] all the way along

the side.

I used the dark (navy) yarn and the ditch side of the navy fish and got a fairly neat join:

One thing I did discover while joining them, though. It really helps to be wide awake! Otherwise you risk joining some of them backwards (WS facing out) and have to take the whole strip apart and start over. Ask me how I know this!

We spent most of the weekend watching paint dry (except when we were slapping it on the walls, woodwork, and each other). The living room and hall look pretty darned spiffy. As soon as the new slipcover arrives, I'll take pictures and post before and after shots.

And I got a big whack of bedding plants that will go in the ground as soon as I finish digging out the weeds.

Back to work tomorrow.


Saturday, May 28, 2005

A Fish Called Wanda

I have been working feverishly on fish.

Once I had the pattern committed to memory, it was an easy task to knit fish while watching TV, reading, taking notes for another project. Each one takes roughly 30 minutes to complete, which means that a 30" square (roughly) baby blanket will take about 22 hours (plus finishing time). So far, I have completed 22 in navy, 10 in the Canadiana variegated (salmon, while, blue, olive). I will need 13 more of the variegated before I start sewing them together. Because the Other Half wasn't so crazy about the vari yarn, I also started and 7 in a solid called "mint" that looks a whole lot like "teal."

They'll be paired with another "navy" called "marine blue" in a second blankie.

The navy and the vari will go into blankie #1:

Of course, a mind is seldom at rest and I am looking at these shapes and thinking "scarf" and other articles of clothing:

Wouldn't that be cute on a little kid? A single row would make an interesting scarf for a grown up. Hmmm, wonder how making it in one piece would work?

It seems that I am not the only knitter/blogger who is looking at these pieces and playing around with them. Joan is considering vest possibilities, for example (see entries beginning on May 18 to follow her thought process), and one of her readers suggested using the fishies as patch pockets on a sweater. Appliques would be cute, too.

Just some random fish thoughts.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


How bad is this? We never got spring! Things that bloom in spring got one fast shot at splendor,

then faded and died, and the summer blooms are blooming with a vengence:

which makes for a lovely yard right now, that will need lots of annuals to fill in the empty spots after these blooms fade.

So, this weekend, we will troop off to the garden shoppe and buy flat upon flat of flowers to fill all these beds.

My crystal ball shows aching muscles and not a lot of knitting. Let it rain!

Sunday, May 22, 2005


Who, me? Just because I put everything else aside yesterday and feverishly (literally and figuratively) produced:

11 fish from the Recipe for Fish linked yesterday? Each takes about 30 minutes :eep: which means I was knitting for 5.5 hours?? (Confession: I made 1.5 of the fish this morning.)

One 5 ounce skein of Red Heart TLC was enough to make all 11 with just a bit left over, so I am figuring that a scant 1/2 ounce will be enough to make 1 fish.

Of course, my mind is going a mile a minute (even though my body won't move that fast :cough: :wheeze:) and I am thinking: I don't have 22 half ounce odd balls of anything, let alone acrylic in good "kid" colors. In fact, my odd balls right now (in worsted weight acrylic or suitable blends) look like:

Yep, 4 of them. Of course, I could steal from my untouched stash (see May 3 post for details) and pretend I have lots of odd balls lying around. Or I could just use one of

and make the whole thing in two "colors" of yarn. Right now, I'm leaning toward the Canadiana (upper right corner) since it's a nice "kid friendly" variegated in salmon, light blue, avocado green, and white (and I have enough). But there's time to decide.

I figure that I have at least 5.5 hours.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Calling Dr. Death

I seem to have contracted what is known in the medical books as a particularly nasty strain of spring crud. My voice is gone. My ears are plugged. And I feel like there's an elephant sitting on my chest.

Shoot me now!

Of course, it's a glorious spring weekend. We had planned to shop for bedding plants (annuals) for the yard, and maybe to even get them planted. And we were going to start the prep work for the living room re-paint. And buy the paint.

I suspect all of this will be back-burnered.

On a happier (?) note, I found out yesterday that the mom-to-be that I was making the Best Baby Sweaters for (expecting her first--twins--in August) starts her maternity leave next Friday :eep: so I spent most of last night finishing up and the earliest hours of today sewing buttons onto the second sweater. And here they are:

I see small flaws in each of them, but a toss in the washer and a flat dry should take care of most of them. The colors are not true in the photo. They are a soft yellow and a deep celery green.

And so, since I had so few projects actually on the needles once I finished these, I cast on (and finished) this:

to start my version of this . I'll be using up my odd bits, because I really like the way the photographed one looks, but for consistancy all of my east- (or west-) facing fish will be the same color (navy blue). I think that this could be my "baby blanket" entry for this year's fair!

Then it will find its way into the gifting box.

Sparky update: The vet has pronounced her "anxiety prone" (well, duh!) and upped her medication. Just to be sure, though, he took samples of her fur (like she could spare them!) and is culturing to see if she has some sort of "funky ringworm" (medical term).

When I explained about the dogs-next-door, he felt that could be the cause of the anxiety and recommended that they "meet" with the fence between them (bring on the bandaids and iodine!). So, okay, we can work on that.

Then, while I was paying the bill (don't ask!) the World's Largest Great Dane walked in. Did she cower? hiss? arch? Hell, no! She sauntered right over to that miniature horse and touched noses with him! The Other Half said she was inviting him over to meet the neighbors.

I suspect he's right.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Freaky Friday

Oh, I could wax poetic about the last day of the workweek, but I won't.

Today, my to-do list looks like the script for a bad movie. Go to work. Meet with staff. Meet privately with other staff. Take the cat (the one with "issues") to the vet to deal with her latest "issue" (bald belly syndrome or BBS), then back to work. Meeting, meeting, meeting. Home. Groceries.

Crash! Hard.

And the weekend's not looking a whole lot more promising.

Oh, and it's raining.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Ferris Buehler's Day Off

Yep, once in a while, the house gets cleaned whether it needs it or not. To this end, I take a day off. And clean (sort of). This time, it really needs it, so I am cleaning for 10 minutes, surfing/knitting/goofing off for 15. I know that's not balanced, but I simply do-not-care.

Our primary was yesterday, and though I voted (voter turnout: 25%, McManus turnout 66%) I was not overly concerned with the results. Nearly every office open was cross-filed with the results a foregone conclusion. Nevertheless, the one candidate that I did-not-want-to-win didn't, and a couple that I wanted to see running in November, will. All in all, a decent result. And the Green Future referendum passed.

Sparky seems to have developed a new "issue." She has licked her belly completely bald which could be a reaction to spring grasses, or to the dogs-next-door. In any event, she will be seeing Ted (The Evil Doctor) on Friday.

And so, to cleaning. And knitting.

I challenged myself (and a few others) to make a pair of mittens a month for charity. I started my first pair last night. The pattern is from Cottage Creations' Projects for Community Knitting. I like that they are not "hand specific" and that the thumb gusset is formed with ribbing. Tres kewl!

I plan to challenge myself on the next pairs. Flim at 11.

And now to clean :yuck:

Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Incredible Shrinking Woman

Felting/fulling is magic! You take a floppy bit of knitted stuff:

Throw it in hot water wash, agitate a bit, tug and pull it into shape, stuff it with plastic bags and hang to dry. In just a little while, you have

a purse!

I've made Sophie before (last one was purple, I think), but this one is different. This one is for me me me me me!

I started knitting it yesterday, finished it this afternoon, just in time to toss it in the washer with the dirty clothes. The yarn is Brown Sheep Naturespun. The color is "stone." I made the straps just a hair longer than the pattern calls for (30" of i-cord instead of 20") in the hope that it can be shoulder worn.

It can!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

The Quick and the Dead

I have to work today (big food drive) and I feel like royal crap!

I seem to have caught some sort of bug somewhere, and every muscle in my body is throbbing. I spent the night wavering between freezing and broiling. Got up and took major drugs (okay, Allegra and Motrin) and I feel like I might live. But I'd really like to crawl back in bed.

I think I need to stop watching so many medical shows. On Grey's Anatomy there was a guy with sepsis from an infected tattoo. I have the same symptoms. Maybe that's what's wrong with me.

No, wait. No tattoo.


I finished the second Best Baby Sweater, this time in yellow. It still needs buttons.

I am making little hats to go with these sweet little sweaters. Then I'll wrap the wholething up and wait for July!

Friday, May 13, 2005

Children of Heaven

Now that grandmom (who I suspect reads this blog) is back from the visit, and has seen these in real time, I can post this picture!

What do you give to one of the newest people on the planet when her grandmother is a knitter, too?

Why, booties, of course! An old favorite pattern in pinque. The things we do for friends!

Welcome to the world, Nonny! (I think there's a bit of irony in your nickname, sweetie!)

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Cat People

We are cat people. As a child, I was adopted by a stray cat I called Stanley. As a newlywed we were owned by Cassius (and Charlie, too, but he really was the Other Half's beagle). Miss Mouse and Brownie came into our lives when the kids were little, and Sparky and Penny followed them and are with us today (though the others are still with us in spirit and in our hearts).

The oldest of the grandcats died today. She lived a good long life and was deeply loved by our soon-to-be daughter-in-law and Older Son.

Good-bye, Nanny. You will be missed.

The Postman's Knock

Well, we have a rural box, so s/he almot never knocks.

The point of this post, however, is to direct all my good readers to this and remind them that this Saturday marks the 13th annual NALC (National Association of Letter Carriers) food drive, the largest single-day food drive (in the world?).

If you live in the U.S., and got a postcard about the drive in your mailbox, won't you please leave a can of peas or a box of mac and cheese for the letter carrier to pick up on Saturday. Your hungry neighbors will benefit.

Thanks so much

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Easy Way

Responding to a meme is probably the easiest blogging around. Rabbitch claims she has never tagged me, though I am sure that isn't entirely the truth (see entry on 2/18/05), I will play along.

1) Total number of books in your house: I'm pretty sure I can't count that high. Do you mean on the shelves, or in piles on the floor? What about those boxes of "outgrown" kids' books waiting for hypothetical future grands? The drawers of my nightstand? The basket by the sofa? It's a really good thing there's a used book store nearby (see below).

2) The last book you bought was: At a book sale -- used. Or, no, wait, it was at Amanda's (where the owner was arrested, though 9 months pregnant for fencing used books and DVDs --I am not making this up). The title? Oh, there were 2 of them: Floral Knits by Nola Theiss (probably totally worthless, but so what!) and Pat Conroy's Beach Music. (I've read nearly everything he wrote after hearing him on Fresh Air about a year ago. I almost wrote to him after reading The Great Santini. I wanted to know how he knew my life.)

3) What was the last book you read before reading this? Well, I'm working my way through Harvard Yard (William Martin) right now. Before that it was The Rule of Four (Caldwell and Thomason) which was a "bestseller" (though I am wondering why), sort of a DaVinci Code set in the U.S.

4) Write down 5 (or 6) books you often read or that mean a lot to you. Brother! I could destroy my reputation on this one! Okay: War and Remberance by Herman Wouk was like reading letters from a dear friend in deep doo. If I Were In Charge of the World by Judith Viorst (the title says it all) has inspired me more than a few times! The Covenant (James Michener) is about a place I would love to see someday, during I time I would not want to live through again. Where the Sidewalk Ends (Shel Silverstein) just speaks to the evil, rotten child in me. And Toxic Parents (Susan Forward) helped me to move on (I really am much better these days).

5) Who are you going to pass the stick to (three people) and why? Well, there's hockey mom 'cause I'd like to know what another mother-of-athletic-boys reads to relax, Rebekah because she spells her name way kewl, and, I think I'll leave the last spot up-for-grabs, seeing as how I am coming in so late that everyone I know seems to have already done this one.

(Does that say something?)

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Confession

My friend Rabbitch commented a couple of days ago that "stash is stash," so in the interest of good international relations, I am 'fessing up. The new yarn has now been added to the spreadsheet and this happy yarn faster has acquired an additional six miles of yarn.

Of course, I have yet to add the stuff I bought in Virginia Beach. (Remember the 8 balls of laceweight mohair?) I'll do that tonight.

Update: I added in the two "good" yarns (is there a bad yarn?) and it brought my total to 99246 yards (56.39 miles), 593 hanks/skeins/balls, and 92.18 pounds of yarn. Okay, Janice. You satisfied? I am such a yarn ho!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Mother's Day

Sunday sighs. The weekend is half over.

And it's Mother's Day, to boot. Son the Elder sent a funny card and will, I expect, call later. Son the Younger gave me flowers, but, as he said, ones that will last a bit. No, not plastic! Bedding plants. Impatiens, one of my favorite bedding plants. And they are in the ground. Which means that we are on "frost watch."

I've spent the day knitting and tweaking the bootie pattern and I think I have a good handle on it. I think next I'll try doing it in stockinette!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Great Balls of Fire!

What is that huge flaming ball in the weekend sky? Can it be? The return of the Sun!? I do believe it migt be a nice weekend!

I woke this morning, as I do every morning, before dawn had even cracked, thanks to the Evil One

who, you will notice, is back in her daytime sleeping spot (when she's not sleeping on the Other Half's pillow, but he is still on it right now!).

Is it any wonder that I am in a constant state of fatigue? Weekends used to be for sleeping late! Then we had kids, and weekends were for saying things like: "Don't you dare get out of bed until the clock says 'seven-zero-zero.'" Now, weekends are for getting up at 5:30 (instead of 5) to feed the cat!

I've been working on a little experiment for the Ship Project (sending handmade hugs from home to out troops "over there")

upsizing a baby bootie pattern by subbing size 11's and 2 strands of worsted weight for size 3's and baby weight. Same pattern! Note the props for comparative size.

If it works with this one (and so far, so good, but needs a little tweaking), I'll be trying others as well.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

All In a Night's Work

Dynasty Brand Bamboo needles available only in 10" length from Smiley's in US 3-US 10.5. This is not a commercial!

I bought one pair to try and find them to be adequate. At $1.99 a pair (plus shipping), they are a bargain. Very sharp points, light weight, a little rough, but I suspect that use and/or a rub down will take care of that.

These would make good "beginner" needles for folks who need lots (for a class of kids?) but don't want to go the make-them-yourself-from-dowels route. I will be getting more, even though I prefer circulars. These are nice.

Warning: Smiley's has a $30 minimum and a flat shipping rate ($9.95). They will ship only to the lower 48 US states. There's no point in whining.

Double Warning: Do not follow that link unless you are prepared to be enticed by closeout yarns at very, very good prices!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Never So Few

My yarn arrived. Big box (30" cube). Lotsa skeins (82 of them). And one pair of needles.

Think multiples. Lots of multiples.

Think lotsa mittens and hats and slippers. And a couple of little sweaters. And some booties.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Don't Look Now

We're "redoing." It's been 15 years since we painted. And the furniture is twice that old. I do believe it's time!

So I ordered a rug. On-line. Then we went to Kohl's and spent their money (a rebate from the rug, actually) on a new print for over the sofa. And today we stopped at Tru-Value and got paint chips. We won't buy paint until next weekend, then we'll spend two days swearing at each other.

I ordered a chair on-line, too. It will be here on Tuesday. Then it needs the base assembled onto the seat. There will be a lot of swearing about that as well, I think. Then we'll need to shop for a sofa. I feel so decadent. We haven't bought furniture in a really long time. The chair and sofa that we're replacing were acquired before we had kids.

I took "before" pictures, but they are so pathetic that I think I'll save them to post when we have some "after" to show.

It feels so "Trading Spaces," dontcha know? Actually, it better look a lot more like that show where they get rid of all the clutter and organize what's left!

I sewed the buttons on my Best Baby Sweater. And I finished the fraternal booties. I think the booties look especially funky now that they have their ties. Both of them are the same three colors, just mixed up a bit. Maybe I'll make a hat to match!

I decided to leave off the beads. They didn't add anything.

And since I was so very good all of Lent, I visited my favorite closeout yarn emporium and ordered an enormous whack of decent quality acrylics and blends (RH Shetland Chunky, Bernat Ragg, Cervinia Sorrento, Bernat Aspen) and some of the 77 cent RH Supersaver, all for "community" knitting (hats, slippers, mittens for folks without the facilities to care for wool).

I really don't like knitting mittens. They are fiddly and there are two of them for lord's sake. So, in the words of my Catholic school educators, I'll offer it up. It will be another star (or is that thorn?) in my crown. Film at 11.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Previous | Next | Random