Saturday, April 29, 2006

So this knitter walks into a yarn shop...
Seriously, I only went for an addi in 2.5 mm, 'cause it turns out I only have one and I need to do some honking big sleeves and dpns just aren't gonna do it for me.

And I found this:

Am I the only knitter who hasn't seen this stuff yet?? It's wonderful! It's (swoons; thud) I touched it and then something came over me. No, I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. I had a vague idea of something using, er, the colors I got. That's pretty much the whole story. I was giddy. I was intoxicated. I tried to buy a pattern without actually having the text of the pattern (thank you, Janet, for rescuing me; I was about to buy the divider sheet for her display book by mistake). People, I was impaired.

It has a name. Rio de la Plata. Of course a line from Evita immediately began ricocheting through my mind--I'll spare you further details, it wasn't pretty (but Ruth probably knows the one and I apologize in advance for lodging it in your head, dear)--which is not in Uruguay, but the yarn is from there. It is not called Bad Overcoat. It is called River of (the) Silver. Could be the precious metal, could be spoons and forks. I don't care. I'm mesmerized. Oooooo....(Patti Lupone's voice swells louder and crazed weasel swoons again.)

Ahem. I did remember to get the addi before my brains left me completely. And the pattern I bought was for something perfectly charming, which I will show you now as my Project Spectrum item for April:

Isn't it simply spiffing? I sat right down and made it as soon as I got home. There should be the fiddly bits inside the flower, but I'm so excited that I had to post it immediately. Design by this brilliant woman (and I hope the link is live, the text at the bottom of the pattern says the website is "coming soon"). Great fun. Yarn: stuff I had lying around, basically; the yellow is some Jamieson's in gold and the green is Cascade 220 in heathered green.

Happy April! (curtsey)

Friday, April 28, 2006


The first Friday in I don't remember how long that we didn't have to get up and race to rehearsal for Twelfth Night. Whoo hoo! The play is up and running, and doing very nicely. The last performance is Sunday afternoon, and after that, finito, until next year. So it's been a quiet day. Actually getting some homeschooling done at home (shock!), knitting, remembering to pay the mortgage, you know - that kind of day.

Thanks, Jena - and Erica (hi!) - I haven't done the dyeing yet, but will this weekend, so yup, you'll see it Wednesday in person and here in blogland sooner, like when it's drying. I'm thinking red and orange. Or maybe play with the Arctic Green flavor. Maybe all three! Oo! Sounds like a plan. And thanks also for Julie's link* (hi, Julie!).

Lynne, are you doing warm-up dyeing yet? I want to play, but also know I need to wait for my swap partner's color preferences. Maybe I'll just have to order more yarn.

I had a minor milestone today - I finished the body of Hardangervidda. Ta da! I'm determined that DH will have it to wear on holiday in England this summer (because you really do need a sweater in England in July) (no, I'm really not kidding). I want to do the sleeves at the same time on two circs and am hunting for the correct circs. It's quite maddening. I know they're here someplace. I even knew I needed another one of the smaller size and bought it. I just can't seem to find them all at the same time. One appears, then another one vanishes. I find that one, and a different one goes poof. Perhaps some bending of the space/time continuum is required.

Hm. Sounds like I've been watching Dr. Who. Busted.

I also swatched the Rowan All Seasons Cotton for the Spring Forward cardigan (you realize this is because I *could* find *that* needle size, right?)--yay! I got gauge on the first try! Had a small panic when I realized I hadn't ordered enough yarn, so I emailed Colourway again to plead for another few skeins. Such peaches, they are--of course they have some more, and they've already sent it. I'll probably have it Monday. (sound of purring weasel) So I'm doing a piece of that, too.

*I had the wrong link in here at first; it's fixed now. Sorry, all. Eek.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Getting very excited about dyeing

Of course. What do I not get excited about? I mean, I get excited about getting my taxes done and reading the upcoming zoning bylaw changes - so admittedly the bar probably isn't very high. But whoo hoo! The sock yarn I ordered for this dye project arrived today!

My hand is in there for scale. It's soft, and nice, and not quite as sproingy as Cherry Tree Hill but it's up there in the make-me-a-happy-camper department. Uh, the yarn, I mean, not my hand. And I already have tons of koolaid stashed for just this sort of thing. I ordered this stuff, when? Monday? and it arrived today, already? Sheesh! Schoolhouse Press, thank you thank you thank you. Whoo hoo, again, I say!

Hi, Lynne! Hi, Amber! Hi, Jena! Hi, Julie! Nice to see you all at Javaroom tonight. I got a bunch done on the malabrigo (oo. malabrigo. swoon. thud.) Ah. Back to consciousness. Finished the front and sewed the shoulders--et voila:

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Oo, look!

The card from my Project Spectrum postcard partner arrived! Whee! Isn't it nifty? Teeny little knitting needles and everything! Thanks, Maylin! I hope the one I sent arrives in France soon. Thanks to Lolly for coordinating the swap - this is fun.

I went to the Grafton yarn shop last night and heard/saw/experienced Yarn Harlot, with my daughter, who's also a fan. She signed both our books and gave little person directions for how to make a teddy bear out of garter stitch squares. Gracious and kind, and thank you very much, Madame Stephanie. It was a bit of a crush, but cheerful. Kat was there, and I think Carole who was at the Team Boston party (and was probably wondering "why is that strange person waving at me") but I didn't see Jena - possibly she didn't make it, or equally possible, I was squished into the aisle near the door and couldn't see much of anything.*

Where else but in a room full of knitters will two total strangers beckon across the room and say, "Elizabeth I? From Tudor Roses?" Yup. And we all knew what the hell that meant, too. Knitters rock.

yes, I have quite recently mastered the a href linking text for html. Aren't you happy for me?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Happy feet.

Stripey socks - done. Owing to birthday preparations for DH for tomorrow, we didn't go anywhere (after rehearsal) except Shopping For Some Surprise Items. Middle child and I are both angling for a visit to Grafton tomorrow to see Harlot - the dear young one read one of the books and loved it. Also likes to read Steph's blog over my shoulder. Also knits. You know, a dream kid.

Last night's drive-by knitting with others saw me finish the other side of an entrelac pillow. I'm still sewing up the sides. But here it is:

Pathetically late though I was, I did get to see Lynne's positively stunning yoga wrap that she made with her handspun, no less. Gorgeous. And the very fun woman sitting next to me who I didn't introduce myself to had some awesome Jaywalkers with Regia - kind of an ice cream/melon ringel colorway. Gotta go see Jena's page to see some yarn linkage - you know, important stuff. Of course I have work to do, but dammit, I finished my socks. --okay, just looked, and oh god it's the cashmere. Exhaling very slowly now. There we go.

Speaking of Lynne, she has a meme up: name 5 places you have knit other than in your house and in a yarn shop, oddballs win fabulous prizes. Or something. ANYWAY, I have knit:
1) in the garden of a rented thatched cottage in Devon
2) in line at the bank
3) in the car (constantly, when DH drives) (not much when I'm driving)(although if the traffic is really bad, I'm working on socks)
4) on the T (Boston subway)
5) at the movies (the children don't let me do this anymore)

Yes, Ruth, the fat suits are plump and poofy. The children look quite silly in them. Lucia, thanks for trying to get hold of me earlier - all I managed was baking birthday cake and doing present shopping before going "plop" at home. Glad *somebody* got to see Harlot, anyway.

It's spring, so that means it's the season of pretending I am a decent gardener. It all goes pear-shaped when we go away on vacation in July, of course, but for now, it's all sweet scents and blossoms and tra la la. We have all sorts of new flowers ready to go into the planters by our kitchen door, and some new ones for inside the house, too. Pansies! Black ones! White ones! Yellow ones! Purple! I am still (fingers crossed) managing not to kill my lime plant, not really a tree as yet, more like a shrubbery. Not too expensive, with a little path... Ahem. Lexington Gardens has these (hysterically expensive) citrus trees, and they're in bloom and they look and smell marvelous. Ah, to grow navel oranges in the wintry wilds NW of Boston... The coffee plant is blooming like crazy. The Easter lily is rather pungent, and I'm not sure I like it, but it's alive. The new ones are a peppermint scented geranium, a pineapple sage, regular sage, and a begonia (DD#2's choice) (little fellow chose more pansies). I am pleased with myself for keeping some of the plants from last year alive to go back into the planters. I am always pleasantly surprised when my plants don't die. Even the weird turnip top growth is now in bloom. Perhaps the universe is telling me something.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Making progress!
I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics and they had these spiffy mints - I know it's a crap picture, sorry - it says "knitting girl" on it. So that was a must.

I was buying stuffing for these - Fat Suits! For the Twelfth Night production. Sir Toby has to be a fat jolly guy, and the role is being played by two different sized kids. So, two fat suits. Not bad for a day's work, I think.

And something weird happened with the stripey socks. Look. Same blob of pooling on the instep, same side of the foot. It doesn't happen on the other side. Go figure. I'm psyched that they're almost done--I need me some black and red stripey socks and I need 'em bad. Tomorrow I'll show you the entrelac pillow that's nearly done. Whoo hoo!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Not according to plan.

Some days go like this. DD#2 wants to make a cake in the shape of a lamb and decorate it for Easter. This is just fine. We have a cake mold in the shape of a lamb, although I haven't used it in many years. The flat squidge you see is supposed to have risen into the top of the mold, which I have since realized was supposed to be placed in the oven as the bottom, to make a lamb's face. Also ears. Il y a rien du lamb face. Rien du ears. Rien du anything that looks lamb-like. Instead it bears a striking resemblance to Mickey Mouse's foot. DD#2 not interested in decorating a mouse foot for Easter. Rats.

Now, performance time for Twelfth Night is coming up, and I'm responsible for costume ideas and vision and design and like that (yes, I have far too much spare time) (if you have any other massively time-consuming activities to suggest, please do, I so love a challenge). So I found tights for Feste (a sort of jester character) and ordered a larger quantity recently, to have enough for the performances, now that the director has approved the purple and black diamond printed tights. They arrived. Not what we were expecting. Large-hole purple fishnets is what we got. Um, this is not going to work; somehow, they just don't say "Elizabethan" to me.

Easily mended, of course; phoned up immediately and with any luck we'll have the correct tights by Wednesday. DH went to the grocery store, and DD#2 and he are purchasing more cake mix. Cake the second will follow shortly.

In honor of the impending major holiday, my back has for some reason chosen to make some of its muscles go "sproing." This is in such a way as to cause maximum stabbing pain at the most random movements possible. Bravo, back! Quite ingeniously done. At present I cannot raise my left arm, but can raise my right. Walking is now much more exciting--who knew one used those back muscles when taking a few steps? Or that I normally turn my back in so many interesting, and now painful, ways? Best to sit quietly with some knitting. This arrived today:

It is precisely what was expected. The color is delicious. And the yarn itself is Rowan All Seasons Cotton, about which I need say no more. I love Colourway. Now I can start the Spring Forward KAL--well, after finishing up a couple of things, of course; the Bazic commission needs its collar re-knit and re-written, and I do want to finish the stripey socks and the Malabrigo (gasp) pullover first.

A Crazed Weasel Public Service Announcement: The SnB that would under normal circumstances meet on Sunday at Borders is going to be very sparsely attended this Sunday, so it's effectively cancelled. There may be one or two knitters there, and Borders is apparently going to be open, but the regular crew is for the most part going to be elsewhere. See you at Javaroom on Wed., then, hopefully much earlier than last time. Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Better late than never?
I did manage to get to the last half hour of knitting at Javaroom last night - which was so nice! I really like these people! And it's occuring to me that last night was probably the only KWO (Knitting With Others) that's gonna happen this week. Poo. Not enough time, ever.

So Easter on Sunday. Easter at my mom's. Strung out children on too much sugar, not enough sleep, waiting for a lunch/dinner of lamb and asparagus that they probably won't eat. We have been known to go to the McDonald's drive-through on our way home from this sort of thing. They're getting better, but these are not adventurous eaters, my kids. If it involves a potato, we're usually okay, but anything else is a real crapshoot. I'm looking forward to seeing my exotic sister and my more regular sister. But it's not what one would call restful. I'd have it here, except we still have no chairs. I am more sick of this than I can possibly put into words.

The malabrigo pullover proceedeth apace. Behold:
Yes, it's long. Yes, I'm just about ready to bind off this piece. I love this yarn I love this yarn I love this yarn. It's going to be a relatively close-fitting (for me) pullover that's tunic length, to cover up the Issue I Have with Pants Nowadays. I have managed to find pants that fit me recently--two pairs! wow!--but they are of the "plumber butt" variety that is now unavoidable from any source, as near as I can tell. So this will be nice and long to cover up the plumber butt thing. There's some progress on the stripey socks, too, but it's too pitiful to show you.

Kat-with-a-K, hi! and sorry about the zillion comments, it's been a while since I checked your blog. I have yet to figure out how to work bloglines correctly, so what I do by default is check out Ruth's page, click on a bunch of *her* blogroll 'cause they're good ones, then try to remember what else I wanted to look at that sometimes I have bookmarked but sadly many times do not. This is where my confusion over Kats and Jenny's and Jennifers becomes really debilitating. I do really want to catch up with Lynne and geekpixie, too--hopefully after I've done the soccer snack schedule I can do that. (hi, you guys!)

Late to knitting, late chairs, late to figure out yet another very basic aspect of working my blog - hey, there was a theme to this after all. Go figure.

Monday, April 10, 2006

One down.
Crazed Weasel knit through an entire skein (in an only moderately crazed weasel fashion, really) and is amazed. This is how far it goes - size 8 US, 82 sts, and I got about 16 inches out of it. Sheesh! Looks like a plain stockinette pullover would only take about five skeins or so. This is Way Cool. The 82 sts make it almost exactly 18 inches across (it's curling under a lot in the picture). When I finish this sweater, I may never take it off; it feels amazing.

Not that I've been wearing the piece of knitting or anything. Well, not out of the house.

Swoon. *thud*

Damn, that keeps happening with the malabrigo. Did you notice that WEBS is now carrying it? Discountable? Uh-huh.

Is it me, or is the Almanac-a-long sort of, well, not so much at the moment? I know March was a total bust for me. Project Spectrum was fine, owing to the huge amount of pink/red colors that were flooding over the transom, including a commission. I thought April - yellow? orange? - would be a bad scene, but it turns out I have some stunning Colinette things ripening in the stash that will Do Very Nicely Indeed. As for the Spring Forward KAL--I've gotten as far as ordering Rowan All Seasons Cotton in color cinnamon for it (yes, I order it from the UK, Colourway, if you wonder) (and if you look at the prices, you'll see why). And I have the pattern. C'est tout.

Now that I've gotten over my cold, mostly, the two girls have it. DD#2 even barfed onto her dinner plate, which was very exciting. I've been drinking herbal tea and urging it on them, too - this stuff, which helps a little. The mommy sensors are on overdrive. I hear a child coughing in the middle of the night and it wakes me up. There she goes again. Poor thing.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Quiet day.
Well, not a lot of knitting. An awful lot of emailing about coop stuff; it's amazing how time consuming it can be, sometimes. I'm still recovering from dealing with the taxes, too. It may also be, oh, maybe a teensy bit that I stayed up til almost 3 a.m. reading, uh, knitting blogs. Crazy Aunt Purl, for example. Geez!

At the moment I'm knitting peacefully while watching the movie Troy. DS's idea, you understand. This is fundamentally not a great movie, but there are some things I like. I like that somebody figured out wise and persuasive things for Odysseus to say. I like the visual impact of what a thousand ships would have actually looked like. I like the costumes. I like Eric Bana's performance as Hector, especially the way his relationship with his wife is written--a mature man, with a very smart woman. Characters that are actually grown-ups are thin on the ground in movies.

That's true of almost anything, isn't it? It's really difficult to convey the complexity of a fully functioning adult--there's a lot to us. Full awareness of a wide range of stuff, judgment, balance; needs a novel, really. Even then, you still just get glimpses. I started one last year, when dh was traveling and I missed him so terribly that I kept writing and writing. It's not bad. I think I'll put some more time into it and see what happens.

Oh, and the malabrigo? Still totally lovin' it. Hoo-ah.

To Jenny, who isn't Kat? Yikes!! Can't even get it right when I kinda get it right. Sorry. Not Jennifer, then. Folkcat Jenny. Got it. Thanks. No, Lucia, I haven't managed to confuse you with any other Lucia, although given the way I've been going lately, it's possible that I might later. And Erica, that chocolate is overdue. Thank goodness it's Easter, er, chocolate season.

Hope to see people Wed. at Javaroom!

Ah, taxes.
It took eleven hours, but I got all the records gathered together and did our taxes today. PHEW. I'm wiped, now. I do enjoy doing our taxes, mostly, but now it's Alternative Minimum Tax and all kinds of horrible nastiness. A lot less fun. My tiny accountant's soul does a smaller happy dance, these days.

Yay, they're done. *thud*

I keep getting confused by several knitters named Kat and Jennifer. Not only do I confuse you with your namesakes, I also switch names. So I thought I'd met Kat with a K at Borders, but no, I met folkcat, who isn't a Kat, but one of the Jennifers. Um, Jenny. I'm sorry; it takes me ages to learn people's names. I'll have perfect recall of what a person was knitting, but have no idea what they're called. HI, anyway, and thanks for commenting, as always, Lucia, and Kat, and Jenny-who-isn't-Kat.

Friday, April 07, 2006

I'm normally merely crazed, of course. Today we have gone over some sort of line. I just had this powerful, physical urge to knit up Malabrigo. I'd already done several inches of stripey sock. And I thought, hey, let's just cast on those 82 stitches we figured we'd need and get going on a nice, comfy sweater. No big deal. Just some simple stockinette. It's not like I have way too many projects going on or anything (HA) (see sidebar). We then progressed to, hmm, wonder how long it will take to knit through a skein. This is where I am so far, after about three hours of knitting.

Just because...those of you who know me a little bit will also know how powerfully addicted to caffeine I am. It's not something that normally gets in the way of my daily functioning (UNLESS THERE IS NO COFFEE). I have a need for the coffee. Or any caffeine, in a pinch. I have been known to walk to the village shop and get a daily bottle of diet coke to fill the DCR (daily caffeine requirement)--in England, they don't have the caffeine. Not like here. They have a numerical rating on the coffee packets in the supermarket that indicates strength. I need maximum, 5, just to notice there's any at all. They remove caffeine from cappucino, even, because the delicate English constitution just doesn't like the caffeine. This went over not so well when I discovered it, but I evolved the aforementioned diet coke strategy and all is now well when we go to the UK. Anyhow, one of the plants I have been nurturing for a while is a coffee plant. Yes, a coffee plant. And it has bloomed. Fellow caffeine addicts, gaze upon the small white blossoms, and rejoice.

And our black cat, Angus, got startled the other day, and his eyes did that glowy thing, and they *really glowed a lot*, so I thought I'd show you all. Not in fact flashlights; they're just his startled little eyes.

Lovely to see those of you I saw Wed. night, however briefly. My cold is getting a lot better, so I'm less grouchy. The malabrigo helps.

Monday, April 03, 2006

A new chapter
I've been a little bit overextended. I finally decided to resign my post as a library trustee. So, I did! One less commitment. This is a good thing. So this is the first time in seven years that I have not been a local government official. Wow.

The Bazic commission is safely delivered. I also finished stripey sock number one, at knitting yesterday at Borders. Which was fun! Hi, everybody! Pretty good turnout, and it was fun. I think Abby took a picture of the sock - I'll get a shot of it later, I hope.

TTFN, all