About a month ago, I ordered a kit to make a beauuuutiful top. I'm not going to get into a pissing match regarding who I ordered from (if anyone wants to know, PM me) and what it is, because I like the person who designed the top and so lets leave it at that. But I got the kit and was so dissapointed. I got cotton thread. Cotton crochet thread.
I tried to knit a swatch up. And then I washed it. And it got HARDER, not softer. I put it in the washing machines. It was still hard. And yikky. So I mulled. And I thought. And I knitted my Convertible. And then I realized that the crochet cotton of pain? Was the same weight as the Debbie Bliss Pure Silk I'm working Convertable in.
So instead of crappy cotton crochet thread, I'm working the beauuuuutiful tank in the beauuuuuuutiful Pure Silk. *Bliss*
Today its supposed to be 91 degrees outside. NINETY. ONE. DEGREES.
How am I supposed to deal with finishing up the Father's Day suprise (more on that in a few) when its 91 degrees outside? How am I supposed to go to the gym? How am I supposed to do anything that doesn't require laying on a couch drinking a pina colada, I ask you? The last time it got this hot was Memorial Day weekend, during which time I refused to hang out with Jason until he turned on the AC. I believe there was throwing of a Nintendo DS and copious pouting until he capitulated.
Which reminds me the pool is open, and I need to go purchase a bathing suit. That fits. I'm running every day (except Sunday) now and I'm kind of holding off until next week - hoping that maybe some more poundage will come off before I have to stuff myself in a suit. The goal is to run every day, and lift weights, and treat any weight that comes off as a happy result, because otherwise I start to obsess, eat cornflakes and drink too much coffee. And no one wants me to MK Olsen on anyone.
Which brings us to the knitting - Dad if you have happened to find this blog and are reading it - GET OFF RIGHT NOW and don't look again until after Father's Day.
Are you sure?
Ok, here's the Hat in Progress for Father's Day - made with the no pattern design from Knitting Rules, ribbed and *sliiightly* longer as he wants it to be able to roll up. I'm using Caron Simply Soft, which I realize the more yarn snobs of you out there (heck, I'm kinda one) will scoff, but he ASKED for acrylic - evidently wool is too itchy and cotton he didn't like the look of. Also, he wears his hats often - no matter what the season - and thus needs to wash it often. A sturdy hat for a sturdy guy:
As you can see - not quite done. It needs to be finished TODAY, meaning that I need to rip out the red stripe at the top to fix my crap decreases, and then do the decreases over, weave in the ends, get a card, get some goodies to put in the box along with, pack the box, write "DO NOT OPEN TIL FATHER'S DAY" on it, then ship it off next day air tomorrow, and hope my mom gets to the package before my dad does.
Finally, just to show off - I got some AMAZING sock wool at the Yarn Barn in Burke, VA of all places - German, cotton sock wool, with self stripy dohicky patterns. I've already forgotten the name, but plan to go back and purchase EVERY colorway they have. This stuff is excellent. Here's sock #1 in the orange:
One Skein Wonder from Glampyre Knits *is* AWESOME- I finished it in 2 days (really, less than 6 hours knitting time) with one skein of Manos Del Uruguay that I found at String of Purls last week. I acutually have two skeins, and was anticipating it being slightly more than one skein, due to swatching and the apparant "broadness" of my shoulders. I had Jason measure me when I cast on and he said I had 17 inches between my shoulders.
Fine, I said, but I don't feel THAT wide. So right when I was at the crux between the 16th & 17th pattern repeat (the different between a smallish/medium and a largeish/medium) I noticed that, well, it was getting a weeeeee bit large. So I remeasured myself 5 times and it appears that either a) Jason measured himself and gave said measurements to me, b) Jason measured me wrong (possible!) or c) I shrunk between Saturday and Sunday. I ended up going with a size down from the original measurement. (I.E., not having to do anything extra or rip anything out). It turned out to be the *perfect* size.
The pattern was great - really well written, though I'd caution any newer knitters to fully read the pattern first before hitting the ground running - there were some instructions that would have sent me crying when I was a new knitter. I've already decided to do one more in a skein of Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb that I got several months ago - last skein in the shop.
I'll be updating the gallery later with these and some other things I've been working on, but for the moment, here we go:
P.S. As a final note, I'd like to say I hope I'll be posting more from now on. May was a hodgepodge of birthday, time off, getting ready for a big work initiative,
traveling, avoiding the gym, trying to finish my Mom's Clapotis (I'll tell that story soon) and learning to spin (that one too) with too few FOs and too much craziness to post much. Also it was really hot and for part of the month, my AC was NOT on, thus causing me to not knit as much. But now its summer - bringing travel, fun and lots and lots of knitting time.
Fell asleep last night about an hour after I ate dinner. I thought I'd be bright eyed and busy tailed, but no, I'm sleep fogged and mildly dumb. Managed to finish the sequel to a book that my mom gave me for my birthday, which was really good. Spent most of the evening feeling dumb and annoyed.
I did manage to hit the gym last night, but as I told Jason, there are people there who work out in JEANS. Seriously. I'm not sure why this is. One person, you know, would be an anomoly - but I saw 4 people. FOUR PEOPLE working out in jeans.
I have been on an audio book and regular book BINGE at the library.
Just read (and returned. in 12 days) the following. Please keep
in mind that its summer and my reading turns...light (in topics, but I
A Redbird Christmas (Audio Book, by Fanny Flagg)
Debutante Divorce (Audio Book, by Plum Sykes)
Shopaholic Takes Manhattan (Audio Book, by Sophie Kinsella)
Shopaholic Ties the Knot (Audio Book by Sophie Kinsella)
The Alphabet Sisters, by Monica McInerney - HIGHLY recommended. I cried.
The Tiara Club, by Beverly Brandt. (Good, but....graphic)
Diasy Fay and the Miracle Man, by Fanny Flagg
The Dark Lord of Darkholm, by Dianne Wynne Jones
Size 12 is Not Fat, by Meg Cabot
Now, keep in mind when I give you my list for the next two weeks,
and when you look at the books above - I listen to audio books during
work, and while knitting. I read until about 1 AM, and when I get up in
the AM. I also have no children and very little housework. So....that
said, my books to be read list:
Summer of Roses, Luann Rice (in progress right now)
Scarlet Feather (Audio Book), Maeve Binchy (in progress right now)
jPod, Douglas Coupland (in progress right now)
Lipstick Jungle (Audio Book), Candace Bushnell
The Chronicles of Chresomanci, Volume 1, Dianne Wynne Jones
Castles in the Air, Dianne Wynne Jones
A Secret Atlas, Michael Stackpole
Year of the Griffen, Dianne Wynne Jones
A Good Yarn, Debbie Macomber
Emporer Mage, Tamora Pearce
Ancestors of Avalon, Diana L. Paxon
A Shadow in Summer, Daniel Abraham
The Time Travelers Wife, Audrey Nifflenger
The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman
ETA: Forgot I was also reading the Knitting Sutra right now too.
If you haven't paid a visit to Merlin Mann's blog 43folders - do so now, if only to get the link to a brilliant essay by Greg Knauss called "The Back Logged Life" - its about time someone put it out on the line that stuff online - for business OR for pleasure - is sometimes not worth it, particularly at the expense of having a real life. A few thoughts on this:
I don't take my Blackberry anywhere unless I'm traveling long distances (like back to DC from Omaha on a workday). No email is so important that it should and can infringe on the life I live after the computer is turned off and the day is done. If it is so important, I would expect you to call. Oh, and this goes doubly for you asshats that check your blackberrys and cell phones while flying.
I love all the blogs I read, but every morning, I open up my newsreader, scan the titles and lock the 5-10 posts that I think might be worth my time. Everything else gets deleted.
I have learned to not pick up my phone if I don't actually want to talk to the people who are calling. That goes for you, telemarketers.
I will never know the sum of knowable human knowledge. I will not beat myself up if I don't know about something someone else does, and I realize that deep down, while the Internet and mobile gadgets is/are great and a tool and yada yada, we become its tool if we don't get our act together and act like humans rather than mini-walking-computer-machines.
I was avoiding listening to Brave Men Run, by Matthew W. Selznick, for a few months, but having rediscovered the joy of audio books & knitting this weekend (don't even ASK what I got from the library, its far too embaressing) I decided to give it a try and I love it. It is excellent. Take a listen over at Podiobooks.com
Was so much fun. I think we have a problem ladies and gents. If I had known it would be as addictive and fun to DYE yarn as it is to KNIT yarn, I would never have started.
Here we go!
I didn't think to take a picture until I did the last one. And as luck would have it, its the one that looks like some sort of cow intestine in a pot. I repeat: THIS IS YARN, people, not some sort of animal yikky.
Um, sometimes you shouldn't stick your bare hands in a pot. The final dye made my hands a wee bit red. However, they are all clean now.
This looks hot pink in this photo, but its actually a darker red. (See above for a truer color).I used Cherry, then overdyed with "Aryuda" Kool Aid (which kind of smells like a Mangoy fruit punch)
This looks just like the blue Cotton Candy that I get when I got to the beach with my parents. So I'm calling it Cotton Candy Blue! Used Blue Raspberry KoolAid.
And this is the true beauty. A creamsicle colored, slightly varigated orange yarn. I used orange and lemonade Kool Aid for this one. Unfortunatly, I want to eat it.
Its like a yummy ice cream cone!
So there you have it. I plan at least 5 more dying sessions next month (um, when I'm allowed to order more yarn from KnitPicks.) Next I'm going to try more Koolaid - for darker colors, and some fun stripes/true varigated yarn.
Now, this begs a question - two of my three yarns (the Creamsicle and the FauxPink) are darker in some areas - lighter in others. But my CottonCandy is not. Granted, I did stir cotton candy more, but also felt I stirred the same amount with Creamsicle. If anyone has any tips for avoiding this, I'd greatly appreciate it.