Monday, January 26, 2009

The Ice Queen Cometh..

But she's not here, yet. I'm casting off. And casting off, and casting off, and casting off. The Picot Cast-off is really pretty, but it's firmly in the PITA department. And not only do you cast off the cast-off edge, you have to go back and cast off where you cast on! (You start with a provisional cast-on.) Holy picots!
I'd take a photo, but it looks like every other blob of knit mohair lace. I'm sure if you just google "lace blob," you'll see a thousand pictures of it. And since I skipped the beads part, it looks even less fancy than an Ice Queen should.
I got Poinsettia blocked just in time - it was -14 here this morning. It's still a bit scratchy, but the warmth was truly appreciated!

So, back to the picots. I started knitting Ice Queen as a way of avoiding weaving in all those ends on Annemor 10. It's been very effective so far.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

We have Poinsettia!

I have no idea why I always type that "Poinsettie" and then have to go back and correct it...

So, anyway, I finished Poinsettia. Not blocked yet - our pipes froze AGAIN, and when you're melting snow for water, it's kind of hard to justify using any for soaking a cowl. (We're finally thawed again. Argh. I'll get to the blocking soon!)

I edited my nostrils out of this shot. Be glad.

Pattern: Poinsettia by Anne Hanson
Yarn: Plymouth Galway (I think - I can't find the ball band now. Lovely yarn. Purple with lots of little blips in red, blue, and cream.)
Needles: I used a size 3, rather than the size 4 called for. I still could have gone a size smaller. I'm a very loose knitter.
Mods: None, other than needle size.
The yarn isn't as soft as I'd like, but I think it'll soften up with a good blocking. Love love love the color!

And I may pursue a new career as a Masked Avenger!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Where is Thumbkin?

Where is Thumbkin? Where is Thumbkin?

Here I am! Here I am!

How are you today, sir? Very well, I thank you.

Run away. Run away.

The knitting is done. Just the ends left to weave in. Do you think I can convince my daughter that the dangley bits are a traditional folk finish? Perhaps known as lazy tassles?
No, I didn't think so, either...

And does anyone remember what ancient TV show featured the Thumbkin song? Captain Kangaroo? Romper Room? I remember sitting in front of the TV as a small child, happily singing all the verses: Thumbkin, Pointer, Tall Man, Ring Man, and Pinkie.
And I remember learning a valuable lesson: Never show Mom Tall Man unless she can actually hear you singing the song...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

What? My Day Off, and no Blizzard?!?

On the other hand, it was -20 when we got up this morning, and the temp climbed to almost 0 over the course of the day. And that's with no wind. Add a wind chill to a base of -20, and you get Very Scary Numbers indeed.
So I bundled up in lots and lots of layers, and headed out to the yarn shop. I held my breath as I approached the door, looking for signs saying "Closed." Nothing. A wave of relief as the door opened at my touch. The yarn was on the shelf, right where it should be - not sold out as I had dreaded. I grabbed and ran for the counter, pulling money from my pocket with glee.
Mission Accomplished! The Quest for the Holy Shepherd's Shades is over!
Now I can finish Madman's Christmas slippers. Oh Happy Day!

And, as long as I was in town, I had to hit the other yarn shop as well. I need a pair of World's Warmest Mittens, myself:

I'm not sure if the color is showing up very well - it's a deep purple. And, though I don't need anywhere near 4 ounces of roving to make the mittens, it doesn't hurt to have a little extra on hand, right?
Just in case it's snowing the next time I need roving....

Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy Blogiversary to me!

A year ago today I started this little venture. Along the way, I've bathed a chicken, weathered a few storms, got my first comment, met some bloggers In Real Life, offered some advice to the thrifty, put up my first tutorial, learned a few things about life and blogging, and did a heap of knitting - at least some of which I remembered to post about.
This has been fun. Now I can't imagine life without the blog.
Thank you!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ooops. I accidentally cast on Poinsettia...

And I might have accidentally knit a few rows. Maybe a repeat or two of the lace pattern. I've really got to pay more attention to those fingers of mine.

In my defense, I did finish the fingers on Annemor 10. Just have the thumbs to go!

So, obviously I deserved to cast on something new. And I really really need a purple cowl.

After all, it's cold up here!

This is the same view as this, only without the snowstorm...

By the way, I just went to check - tomorrow is my 1st blogiversary! Will I post? Will I not? Only time will tell...

Friday, January 9, 2009

It's good to have a plan. (Usually...)

So, as I've been whining since I got back from my Dad's after Christmas, I need one more skein of Shepherd's Shades to finish Madman's slippers. (His lumpy-needled-so-sorry-not-done-out-of-yarn-will-finish-soon-I-Swear Christmas present.)
My normal days off have been Thursdays and Sundays, lately. We've established that both my LYS's are closed on Sundays. New Year's Day fell on Thursday. I'd planned to go yesterday, but another one of those Storms-of-the-Century intervened. (The thing you can't see in yesterday's photo is the fact that the snow was falling sideways. Seriously. I hate that.)
So, since I didn't have to be at work till noon today, I hatched a new plan.
I needed to go to the library (I use the regional library which is just outside the same town the yarns shops are in), I needed the skein of Shepherd's Shades from LYS#1, and I had Christmas Cash squirreled away for yarn from LYS#2.
I specifically wanted yarn to make Poinsettia, Ice Queen, Kathleen Taylor's Picot Hem Stranded Snowflake Hat (Rav link), and a pair of these boots:
(from the book "feltFORWARD" by Maggie Pace, which Madman got me for Christmas, specifically because he knew I would want to make those boots!)

The Plan:
Drive into town, get the mail at the Post Office, buy lactase pills at the drugstore.
Drive to the next town, run into LYS#1, buy Shepherd's Shades, cross the street, spend a happy half hour in LYS#2 picking out yarn, drive to the library, spend another happy half hour picking out books.
Drive to work, eat my lunch, start work at noon.

Well, that was the plan...
As Madman was heading out the door to work while I was getting ready to go, he asked if I could please stop at the feed store and pick up chicken feed.
He also said that he had put gas in my car yesterday (he had borrowed it since it's much better in stormy conditions than his is, and I'd already decided not to go anywhere that day), but had used most of it, though he thought I still had a quarter tank.

Real Life:
Getting chicken feed meant crossing the post office off my list. I didn't check my gas gauge when I started the car to warm it up. When I got in to leave, however, I noticed that the "quarter tank" he rather optimistically thought I had was closer to a tenth of a tank in reality. So, no drugstore either.

Plan B:
Drive to town, get gas, get chicken feed.
Drive to the next town, run into LYS#1, buy Shepherd's Shades, cross the street, spend a happy half hour in LYS#2 picking out yarn, drive to the library, spend another happy half hour picking out books.
Drive to work, eat my lunch, start work at noon.

Real Life:
Gas and chicken feed. Check.
Drove to next town. Finally find parking place, much further away than I would have hoped. Walk in biting wind to LYS#1. Find new sign in the window - they now don't open until 11am, which is an hour away.

Plan C:
Continue to LYS#2, drive to library, pick out books, come back through town, hit LYS#1 after they (finally) open, drive to work, eat lunch, work.

Real Life:
I walk up to LYS#2. Luckily, they are open. I squeeze yarn, happily pick out colors, head for the counter.
Now, the lady who waited on me was very very very nice. I can't stress this enough. Very nice. But. She wrote up my sales slip, slowly, carefully, with great attention to detail. Manufacturer, yarn name, fiber content, color name, color number, dye lot. Slowly. Carefully. With much referring back. Slowly.
It took her longer to write up the slip than it did for me to pick out the yarn.
This put me behind schedule. Again.

Plan D:
Very quickly drive to the library, spend 10 minutes picking out books, race back to LYS#1, buy yarn, eat my sandwich in the car on the way to work, work.

Real Life:
Plan D really should have worked. I raced through the library, didn't waste a lot of time browsing the stacks, grabbed a few books (they didn't have any new knitting books - at least not any I could see while moving at the speed of light), and headed back into town.
And there wasn't a parking place to be had. Well, there was one. It was about as far as it could be from LYS#1 and still be in the same town. And it was blocked by a large van whose driver was having a long conversation with a pedestrian. They both ignored me as I waited to try to get by.

Plan E:
Curse the day I decided to make those damn slippers from Shepherd's Shades. Can the whole LYS#1 visit, and head for work. Eat my lunch in my car. Work.

At least I have new stash. Pics tomorrow.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Disappointment #1 of 2009

Both. Yarn Shops. Closed. Sundays.

Now I'll have to wait until Thursday, my next day off. I really want to get Madman's slippers finished, so they don't end up taking a year and a half to finish. (Not that I'm pointing fingers at myself. But. Yeah.)

In the meantime, I'm still knitting Annemor 10.

These are meant for my youngest daughter - I knew she'd go for the bright green!
It occurred to me that I would be much happier if I caught the second one up to the first before I got too far ahead. I'd had to fiddle with the fingers, and it was best to continue the fiddling while it was still (fairly) fresh in my mind. While I'm perfectly capable of reverse engineering, life is so much easier if I don't put myself into that position...

And here's some of the knitterly loot I got for Xmas:

Anyone want a better look at that yarn? Yeah, me too.

It's Cherry Tree Hill, and the colors (named "Earth") are even better in person than they are in the pic. I've got 2 skeins of 284 yards each, worsted weight. Now begins the big dither about what to make out of it. Ideas, anyone? Maybe that Moebius Cowl or Shawl that I've been wanting to experiment with? Or a vest? Or a hooded scarf?

Is it possible to get a PhD in dithering?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Lazy blogger finally remembers to post...

Somehow that final countdown to Christmas, followed by travel, followed by guests for New Year's Eve, followed by New Year's Day with its all-time-low on the energy scale... Well, now that the dust has settled a bit (the resident dust rhinos are currently whooping it up in all the corners and under the furniture), just maybe I can get things back on track.
I finished a second Crofter's Cowl out of that skein of Blue Fog Nature Spun. I won't bother taking another picture. Just back up a couple of entries to here if you're curious. Absolutely freakin' identical... That was my traveling knitting for going to my Dad's house.
I didn't finish the second pair of Fiber Trends clogs. They were meant to be for Madman for Christmas (not the first time he's unwrapped a lumpy package complete with knitting needles...), but I ran out of yarn at the eleventh hour. I had planned to run down to the LYS to get more this morning (my only chance to go until next week), but when we woke up this morning we found that the pipes had frozen in the well-below-zero temps, so plans had to be changed.
I had to run to the coffee shop for coffee (where I got my first senior citizen's discount EVER. I'm still not sure how I feel about that. Fifty-five is not old.) then swung by the grocery store to pick up some gallons of water, and to the feed store to get some chicken feed. I'm currently thawing out the chicken's waterer on top the stove.

I hate winter.
At least I didn't have to be in to work early this morning. I would have had to brush my teeth with wine leftover from New Year's Eve...