Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bad Karma

OK, I don't know what I did to deserve this karma! This has been the worst short week ever! (Sorry for those of you to whom I've already complained about this but you are hearing it again!)

Yesterday, I was scheduled to work from 9 to 5.30. OK, that is pretty normal. I'm house-sitting this week for the owners of the barn and they live much closer to the barn. So that meant that I can be healthy (and save a little bit of gas) by walking out to the barn. I got up at 6.30 am and dragged myself out the door at 7.

Turns out the barn is a little further than I thought. It takes 30 minutes to walk there. OK, everything is still fine. Plenty of time to walk back to the house, take a quick shower and make it out of the house by 8.30 so I can be at work at 9. Oh, wait. I forgot the check I was going to leave out there for the farrier who is coming at 10. Oh, there is no time to go back for it. I'll have to drive out with it after my shower (so much for saving gas!). I make it back to the house with 10 minutes to spare, take care of the check and leave town at 8.40, still plenty of time to get to work.

Once I am at work, my boss calls in to say that she is going to be a little late. This is strange since she is scheduled to be in at 10 till closing and it is only 9 now. I point this out to her. She's forgotten that she is scheduled to close. She couldn't find anyone else at any of the branches to help out so guess who stayed from 9 till 7? That's right.

On the way home after 7, I stop by the gas station because my car was running on fumes. After filling up, I get in the car and turn the key in the ignition. Nothing happens. No turn over, nothing. The starter is completely dead. I am now in dress clothes crawling under the car jiggling various wires and trying to figure out which piece of machinery is the starter so I can hit it with a hammer. Dad comes out and, at 8, we finally find the right piece of machinery to hit and the car starts.

I have to stop by home to pick up some things to take to where I am staying. By this point, it is around 8.45 and I still haven't eaten. The guy that Dad is helping go over interview questions came over so I talked to him for a while. Now 9 pm. I go to leave and guess what won't start again? . . . (Wow, you are good!)

So, I grab Mom's car keys from her, do an exchange of stuff (by this point it is 9.30 and I still haven't eaten), and am ready to leave. As I was backing out of her garage space, I was trying to get her garage door to shut and . . . crunch! I backed into MY car with HER car. Could this day get any better?!

I wasn't going at any rate of speed but it scraped up her bumper and pushed the piece of plastic in front of my front tire in a little. We were able to push it back out.

I run out at 9.45 to feed the horses (they were very happy) and finally got to the Gage's house at 10ish. By that point, I was too tired to eat and had a roaring migraine. Watched Mythbusters for a while and went to bed.


Today was much better until I got the call about everything that was going wrong with the car. $1000+ worth of things wrong. New starter, new tires, something for oxygen (?), realignment, brake pads. You name it, it probably was replaced on my car.

THEN, I ripped my thumbnail off. Well, mostly off. Down to the quick at least. I shouldn't try to pick up more books that I know I can carry. It never ends well! The rest of the day went pretty well, all things considering.

Here's to hoping the rest of the week goes better and to consuming lots of wine tonight!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Return of the Peacock

Guess what I picked up again this weekend?

This Peacock Feathers shawl has definitely become a long-term project. I put it down for a while, pick it back up, work on it for a little bit, then put it back into the WIP basket. Right now, I think I've reached the stage of putting it down again. For some reason this row's stitches are not working right no matter how many times I unknit the row. I might be forced to rip back to the lifeline which is down a couple of rows but I really don't want to do that. I'm on the 5th chart so that makes me very happy.

In order to have a mindless project, I cast on for another baby hat using the remnants of the darker skein of kool-aid dyed yarn. Because I divided the skein into 2 even balls for socks, I've now used up the one ball's remnants (does this make sense?) and now need to find the other remnants so I can finish the hat. One of my other cousins just let the family know that she is pregnant so I can see making more baby stuff down the road. Did you see pepperknit's onesies project? So cute!

My second mindless project is a pair of ribbed socks from the lighter skein of kool-aid yarn. They're being knit up on size US 0s so I'm expecting them to take a while.

I've decided that I shouldn't be allowed to have a credit card anywhere near an on-line knitting store. Knitpicks also shouldn't have such wonderful needles/yarn. I broke down and bought a bunch of their new needle sizes and some of their old ones(2.25 mm, 2.75 mm, 3.00 mm, etc). I finally bought some US 2s and 3s. Had a set of Addi US 2s but love the Knitpicks needles more. The cable is so flexible and the tips so sharp! I also bought a neat bag that I have been drooling over, some more Options cable lengths, and some yarn to dye. I want to play with some different colors so you can look forward to more dyeing pictures. :)

I was working on the Pomatomus socks but they have been put in time-out for a little while. I decided to be creative (always a bad idea) with the heel so the pooling would continue. Well, that didn't work out so well so I will have to rethink my idea.

And here is a horse picture for you from yesterday.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Online quiz

I love these things!

You Belong in Amsterdam
A little old fashioned, a little modern - you're the best of both worlds. And so is Amsterdam.Whether you want to be a squatter graffiti artist or a great novelist, Amsterdam has all that you want in Europe (in one small city).
Your Inner European is Dutch!
Open minded and tolerant.You're up for just about anything.
**Think there is a theme there?**

You Are a Turkey Sandwich
Conservative and a bit shy, you tend to stick with what you know and trust.You are very introverted, and you prefer to blend in whenever possible.Though you may be hard to know well, anyone who does know you considers you a true friend.
Your best friend: The Ham Sandwich
Your mortal enemy: The Tuna Fish Sandwich

Monday, May 21, 2007

Another sock (what a surprise!)

Yes, those are DPNs you see!

I've actually broken out the DPNs for this project! I probably would have done them on circulars if I a) wasn't too lazy to figure out how many stitches should be on the 2 needles b) had 4 KnitPicks circs in US1s instead of 2 US1s, and c) wasn't working the two socks at the same time. My reason for working them both? Second sock syndrome (the dreaded SSS shudder).
For those of you who don't know, SSS is a horrible disease that can strike in many different sneaky ways. Mainly it hits knitters who make one sock then get bored of making the same pattern again for the second sock. I've been making 2 socks on 2 circs for so long now that I'm worried SSS will hit me hard if I only make one Pomatomus at a time. So the solution is to have 2 going at a time. I'll work one sock for one chart repeat, put that one down, pick the other one up, and start the cycle all over again.
I fell in love with the colors in the skein but am not sure if I love it knitted up. The greens and blues are pooling on one side of the socks and the pink/yellow on the other. The colors then spiral around the sock. I'll have to decide when the socks are finished. I really like the pattern, though :)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Guess what else I finished!

Guess what I finished (part 2) . . .

That's right, the Anastasia socks! This pattern is so much fun to do! I have to say that I like all of the socks that pepperknit has designed. These socks were like my other plain vanilla socks but literally had a twist to them! The yarn was OK to work with but not great. The finished product feels wonderful but it was really splitty, more so than the Austermann Step yarn. I have enough left over to maybe make a pair of footies. We'll see.

I finished this a couple of weeks ago (another thing designed by pepperknit and here is a link to the pattern) but never sat down to take a picture of it. Basically, now I am just trying to use up this color of the Kool-aid dyed yarn. The next project might be some more baby hats to keep in reserve in case anyone else I know is going to have a kid.

Speaking of babies, my cousin just had her's a couple of days ago. Mom and son are doing well and should be home for the first time today (or yesterday, time gets away from me). It seems like so long ago that I went to Philadelphia for her baby shower.

Off to start another pair of socks. This pair is going to be in Cherry Tree Hill's Peacock colorway. I've been hoarding this stuff since last year because it is so beautiful. The predominate color to the yarn is green and I am trying to get them finished before the end of this month's Project Spectrum colors. I want to have a pair of socks in each of the three different colors. Not to mention it just seems wrong to have a pair of needles without anything on them! (Come to think of it, that could be why I have so many WIPs. . . .)

Friday, May 18, 2007


Guess what I finished?

Here's the revised chart . . .

. . . which results in this!

Slightly artsy shot.

More pretty sock! (Can you tell I am happy with them?)

Another slightly artsy shot including the kitty!

I really liked "designing" this pair. It was nice to be able to just knit my standard plain vanilla socks and then tweak with them to include the lace on the leg. Converting the lace instructions to a chart was a lot of fun. The pattern ended up being almost exactly what I was thinking of when I first saw the yarn. And the yellow fits with the Project Spectrum colors!
**Guess what, I didn't actually have to do all of that work to convert the written instructions to a chart. It is the Dayflower lace pattern by Barbara Walker and there are charts of it out there all over the place. D'oh! :)**

I'm going back to the Anastasia socks today. I posted a picture of them a little while ago but then stopped working on them. I messed the pattern up somehow (easiest pattern ever and I mess it up!). It is a toe-up pattern and I worked the feet of the socks at the same time but didn't do that with the legs because of the way the pattern wrapped around the legs.
Because the one sock is finished for all but the top ribbing, it shouldn't take me too long to complete this pair. The other sock is about 2 inches away from being ready to start the ribbing. I figured I would do the ribbing for both of them at the same time. Really I'm just hoping to finish them before the end of this month's Project Spectrum's colors.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Daffodil socks

Daffodil socks
Daffodil socks,
originally uploaded by bookworm knitting.
Remember how I talked about lace charts and posted the picture of the daffodil socks' chart? Well, for some reason I thought the pattern would look better being the other way around than the way it is in this picture. So I spent almost all of Sunday afternoon (after taking mom out of course!) trying to convert it so the leaves were going down instead of up. Yeah, shouldn't have tried to do that.

My brain couldn't translate the one chart to one upside-down and no matter how many times I started knitting it, the pattern just wasn't working out. So I gave up and returned to the original lace chart. Lo and behold, it worked perfectly! Geez, an entire afternoon wasted.

The lace is going very quickly and I like the way the leaves are turning out. I didn't want something so over the top that the yarn's colors wouldn't show to their full advantage.

I did the Wendy Johnson short row toe and a short row heel like the one on the Anastasia socks. I think I am in love with short rows!

Monday, May 14, 2007

World War Z

Here's another book review for you.

Max Brooks' World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War is an astounding book and I don't like zombie films/stories (well, except for Shaun of the Dead and that is because it is a spoof). After reading this book, I definitely understand why people are calling it one of the best new fiction books of 2006.

Brooks has masterfully created a story though personal accounts of survivors about the spread of the zombie virus and how the world fought back against the living dead. The plague or virus seems to have started in China and spread quickly across the world. Some areas were better prepared than others to defend themselves from the zombies while others were woefully unprepared. New York, for instance, wasn't able to defend itself but Buckingham Palace held its own for many months before it was rescued. At first, the war is a defensive one but then the survivors must go on the offensive to re-claim the Earth.

Brooks writes the story as if the reader already knows what happened during the war. This story is supposed to have been written 12 years after the end of the war with the world still recovering from its ordeal. We are left to discover the details as he interviews the survivors. Each of the stories are woven together, pulling the reader further and further into the events. The book makes you wonder what you would do in these people's situations.

I cannot possibily express how much I am impressed by this book and author. His imagination is amazing. He created a story which could be believable (well, except for the whole dead coming back to life thing) and whose characters are interesting and well-drawn.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I got nothing

I stole this meme from Is it time to Knit Yet? to make it look like I have something interesting to say. Enjoy!

Mark with bold the things you have knit at least once, with italics the ones you plan to do sometime, and leave the rest.

Afghan/Blanket (baby)
Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire

Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up

Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn

Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran) <-- cables are my crack
Lace patterns <-- also crack

Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with DPNs
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Steeks <--scary!
Knitting art
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn

Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public <--story of my life

Leaves and strawberries

I found a pattern for that yellow sock yarn that reminded me of daffodils! This skirt pattern is on Knitting Pattern Central (a great resource if you haven't found it already) and I came across it in a search of a pattern for my new Cherry Tree Hill yarn. (I've decided to make a cute springy tweed jacket but more on that later.) I liked the lace leaves running down the skirt when it hit me that the lace pattern is exactly what I was thinking of for the yellow yarn.

The Yarn Harlot just had a post about lace charts vs. lace written directions. It got me thinking that I've used both recently but have never tried to convert written directions to a chart. So I sat down and drew this from the Dayflower lace instructions. I think it is going to be much easier for me to follow than the written directions because the directions had a lot of repeats which can get confusing.

Here is the beginning of one of the socks posing in front of the pattern. (For some reason, I knit my socks on circulars "inside out" but knit the sock normally on DPNs. I've tried to knit "right side out" on circs but it feels funny to me. I never realized I did this until one of the ladies at my LYS said something.) I've decided to just do the lace pattern just on the leg of the sock because it wouldn't work out so well on the instep and bottom of the sock. It will look a lot like the Dublin Bay socks with the lace pattern on the side of the leg.

Mom and I started building a strawberry pyramid on Sunday. We got a lot done in a very short period of time. The top layer still needs to be finished and we will start planting the strawberries soon. The green siding is a flexible fiberglass so it won't fade or rot. It was very easy to shape. The dirt came from topsoil Dad had accumulated for a project which he started last year and hasn't gotten around to finishing. Let me tell you, dirt that has been sitting around for a year, absorbing all of the rain and snow is really, really heavy. But I think all of the heavy lifting was worth it. It is hard to believe that there is the remains of a tree stump in the middle of the pyramid!


Can anyone who subscribes to this blog via bloglines let me know if you are able to see this full post in your bloglines feeds window thingy? I just tried to subscribe to my own feed and could just see the titles which is annoying as hell! I tried to change the blog settings to see if that could correct it. So let me know!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

So weak

So very weak but such a good deal. This sort of thing is why we have a stash everyone.
Now what do I do with 2000+ yards of this beautiful stuff?!

Pizza, pink and pony

Mom just called to say someone is selling Cherry Tree Hill yarn at a yard sale so all you get today is pictures!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Cell phones

Why do they always ring when you step away from them for one second? Or when you drive through a dead spot, you get the call you've been waiting for since morning? Grrr.

Having fun with TOFUtsies and Anastasia socks. Pictures later. (I've decided that I love the yarn even though it smells like seaweed and is splitty. Also pattern is a little fiddly with two socks on two circs so I am going to have to do one at a time. Disappointing)

I'm going to Home Depot/Lowes to pick up some potting soil, pots, and plants. Wish me luck. Like before, pictures will follow.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Pirates, grog and seaweed, oh, my!

Our summer reading theme is the sea this year but really it has evolved into pirates.
I created this reading map for the theme. And this is my pirate name. Arrrr.

My pirate name is:
Mad Anne Flint

Every pirate is a little bit crazy. You, though, are more than just a little bit. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arr!
part of the network