Monday, May 23, 2011

Swatching the Future

I am very much an Analyzer.  I will happily take any and all events in my life and research, ponder, debate, and in general wear the problem down until it's as worried and worn as a small, perfectly smooth pebble on the creek bed.   Sometimes this serves me well because when I make a decision it is carefully thought through, and sometimes I just get bogged down analyzing and over-analyzing some more with a bit of anxiety thrown in for good measure.

Right now there is a lot of transition in my life simply because that's where I'm at in my life: And after Graduation there came a time of great transition where her loved ones scattered to the winds and Ondrea had to decide what was Important, and how to take this Important and make it Reality.*  As per usual, I have analyzed and barked in circles until it feels like I've come out the other side even though really I never left my couch the entire time.

Since it was a beautiful day on Saturday, I did a smart thing and got myself out of the house for some social interaction.  I played some Calvinball (if you get hit by the pink ball, drop whatever you are carrying...if you pick up zee flip-flop, you talk een Russian accent), and then I went to Smith's for the monthly party of good friends, fine yarn, and tasty food.

Lily of the Valley and wee-gloves that Sparkle found on one of her excursions.

In anticipation and hope for the of the future and because I was sick and tired of analyzing everything (Geeze, at some point, you just have to stop and enjoy it all because there's no way you can figure everything out) I started my Christmas Knitting.  Yes, you heard me.  Christmas knitting.  In May.  Right now it looks like this:

Classic Elite Fresco: 60% wool, 30% alpaca, 10% angora
I'm excited!  I've already researched, doodled and swatched since I am designing these projects myself (and is one of the reasons I started so early).  I even did a big one adn washed and dried it, because I'm hopefully creating some heirlooms and I'd like to write up the pattern for other people to use when I'm done.  So far my swatch has told me I needed to swatch again in smaller needles--sizes 3 and 5.  So!  Another swatch before I jump in and cast these suckers on my needles.

Here's to the future, which might require a bit of swatching to get where I want but will come out how it's supposed to in the end.

*I re-read Lamb again.  You should too.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Inspiration: Art in my Coffee

Because who doesn't like pretty, tasty things?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Inspiration: Ambulance

Found these nifty vehicles parked outside the Inn one sunny day.  It appears to be an old ambulance and some type of wee car for one person who doesn't mind tight spaces.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

scrabble scrabble scrabble

How to cast on the Miralda shawl from Knitted Lace of Estonia 

  • Watch Cory knit several beautiful Miralda shawls in Jade Sapphire.  Decide there is no reason to mess up a good thing, join the Knit-A-Long she is hosting and snatch up two skeins of Jade Sapphire the day Smith's gets it in.  Rip proper needles out of sweater-in-progress that hasn't been touched for months.
  • Read Yarn Harlot's post about the perils of casting on for Miralda.  Chuckle nervously and hope that won't be me.
  • Cast on 331 stitches holding yarn double at the knit shop, so there is moral support of I mess up.  Place markers every 50 stitches, recount.  Knit first two rows.  Decide I should start on chart and get the pattern established before first knit-a-long class on Tuesday so it's far enough along I can knit in public and socialize at the same time.
  • Get to last 4 stitches of row 1 of the correct lace chart.  Realize I am on stitch short.  Decide problem was my not counting stitches correctly in previous step (even though I double and triple counted), but decide I can fake it and leave out last decrease.  Be smug because I have made it through the first charted row almost unscathed.
  • Get to last 30 stitches of row 3, realize I am off.  Be confused, because this is an odd place to come up short of stitches.  Eyeball chart, fail to see mistake.
  • Be driven slightly crazy when the thing living in my floorboards scrabbles while I re-count stitches.  Wonder what happens if it dies in my floorboards; how resistant to the smell of rotting flesh will my stash be?
  • After much deliberation and recounting (and stomping on the floorboads to get the creature to be quite/go away) Think I have found mistake in first chart row.  Rip.  Recount and make sure charts are correct.

Intermission: sleep

  • Begrudgingly begin to re-knit, sitting in the sunshine (yay spring!).
  • Go visit mama cat the Pirate and I are considering adopting.   Fall in love with her even though she might eat yarn.  Have her fuzzy kittens whose eyes are not open yet take the edge off.
  • Re-knit the last 30 stitches of row 1.  Come up short, just like last time.  Decide to fake it, just like last time even though this might not be the best plan because knitting doesn't like to be forced.
  • Come up short halfway through row 3, just like I expected but in a different place.  Re-consult chart.  Wonder why I thought it was a good idea to start a bottom-up shawl when I was getting bored with a top-down shawl.
  • Realize that for no reason whatsoever I have been only reading part of the chart and have completely left off 4 edge stitches on both sides of row 1.
  • Be baffled at how in the world leaving off 8 pattern stitches but apparently adding another 10 stitch repeat makes me come up one stitch short since I should have been at least two stitches over.  Twice.
  • Decide that the only thing to take the edge off the scrabbling floorboard creature and shawl is to adopt mama cat and ALL FOUR of her adorable fuzzy wee kittens.  Wonder if in addition to taking the edge off my knitting troubles I can also set mama cat on the creature that is still scrabbling in my the floorboards.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Warp and Weft

For those out there who weave, I found an excellent example of warp and weft on campus.

WARP: concrete columns
WEFT: ribbons twined around the columns

How do you think they wrapped it around the top? 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Carb clearinghouse

Since I will be moving to the South in a few months, I have decided it is time to clear my kitchen of all the food items that looked tasty in the store, but never quite made it onto the dinner plate.  It also means I need to clear out my stock of essentials.  In the next few months if you find yourself craving carbs, come to my place.  I shall be eating lots of cornbread, buckwheat pancakes, peanut butter and jelly, oatmeal, and mustard (there was this weird mustard phase).

Alternatively, if you have a recipie for 6 cups of brown rice flour please leave a comment!  About the only thing I could think of was gluten-free paper mache.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Inspiration: Flea Market Finds

I found some lovely steampunk, mad science, and Renaissance Faire accessories at the flea market.

The wooden clamp does not have a very good grip, but it will be a good prop and be
light to carry around on a belt.  If anyone could tell me what they do, I'd love to hear it.

"Elixer Tree of Life Since 1880" (front)
"Necater of The Golden Life of Health and Vitality" (back)

The requisite pocketwatch with gears showing (sadly, it does not work but it was pretty enough I snagged it anyways).


Monday, May 2, 2011

Blogging instead of knitting

Today is a rare day off, so of course it is filled with chores and other grown-up things that need to get done during the workday.  But since those adult tasks did not begin until 1 pm, I did stay up until the wee hours of the morning watching the final episodes of Six Feet Under, a show about a family-run funeral home.  The show is known for having one of the best finales, and I can vouch that it was So. Totally. Worth. It. to stay up until 4 a.m. to finish the last DVD.  Beautiful, and an interesting study of humanity to boot.  It has taken me a while to fully appreciate the TV show as an art form, but I think I finally get least in regards to this show.  Anybody else out there watched it?

All of that is a rather rambly lead-up to the fact that am just a wee bee goofy from lack of sleep and giddyness at the show's ending.  And right now I'm at the Toyota dealership so Flapper Fay can get her oil changed and her tires rotated (they have free coffee!) and I have just realized I have dropped a straight needle somewhere so I can't knit on the scarf I brought.  It is probably back at home since the plastic bag I carry the project in is poked full of holes, which is a hazard of working with straight needles.  So now I am blogging instead of knitting as time creeps by.

Oh hey, Fay is ready!