Saturday, August 30, 2008

Nothern Wisconsin Hat

I'm just churning out the bog posts this week! I guess that happens when one actually has something to show for themself.
I finished up this hat yesterday while at work. I enjoy knitting hats. They're quick, fun, and full of purpose. It would have been helpful if I had worn something that even remotely matched this to work yesterday because it worked great with my nasty, unstyled rainy weather hair. Mmmm. Sexy.

Here's a slightly more detailed view of the lace-
...and the back
And to better represent the color, a freakishly ugly picture of me-
Just ignore the human element in that shot. I've been cleaning all day, have no makeup on and am just all around grubby. Also, that blur doesn't do anything justice. Mental note-find someone who has a reasonably good handle on photography so I don't end up with all these odd angle crap shots.
Pattern: Northern Wisconsin Hat by this chicky
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Wisteria
Needles: US size 2 and 8.
Mods: I didn't use the needles called for in the pattern (0's and 7's) because I couldn't find them. I also did the ribbing magic loop style because the needles I *did* find were something like 32'' long. This all worked to my advantage though because my head may be slightly larger than average....because of my massive brain, I'm sure, and most hat patterns just don't fit me right. This fits me pretty spot on. If I make this hat again I might bump up the stitch count and make it a little longer so it would be more slouchy.
In other news, my brother in law called me yesterday while I was at work and mentioned that he was going to get some portrait work done on his back tattoo. He asked if I wanted to go with him but I had to work until 6 and his appointment was at 5. Since the work he was getting done was going to take a hell of a long time (supposedly), I went up to the Baltimore Tattoo Museum after I closed up and met him. Because of the craptacular weather, it took me longer than anticipated to get there and he was almost done. Still, I was able to squeeze in a little tattoo-istic artistry for myself done by this guy.
I was really happy with the work. I'm piecing together kind of a star collage on my collarbone/shoulder area and even though these are extremely simplistic tats, he did an excellent job. We had to do quite a bit of work with the placing and such, but I'm thrilled with how it came out. I started this a few months back with a tat from some hillbilly place in Tennessee. I don't want to come down to hard on them because they were clean and nice, but it was still kind of country. Also, the ink has already started to fade big time and looks kind of splotchy.
Now I'll be going back to cleaning. For a house with two adults and two dogs, I really don't understand why I have to ALWAYS be cleaning. Well, I do know why....but I don't understand why it's always me that has to do the cleaning....of messes that aren't of my making. sigh. Additionally, after trying to take a picture of myself in the hat, I'm going to be doing quite a bit of research on diminishing under eye darkness.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A proud Mother

Not knitting related, but I'm so happy about this that I want to share it with those who exist outside my MySapce account.

I am simply overcome with pride over Dylan. As many of you know, Satan lives in his heart. He's been blacklisted by almost all the groomers in the area, my family fears him, and the vet won't even stay in the same room with him if he's not sedated. Except for that one time where Dr. T decided to be all manly and try to demonstrate how it couldn't possibly be as difficult as I claimed to administer ear drops twice daily. That episode ended with a destroyed vets office and poo on the table. Luckily, it was Dylans poo though I suspect some dirty underwear may have been concealed.
So today I had to take Dylan in to have a possible tick examined, as well as a nubby hard spot that appeared near his ribs. Naturally, as soon as Dr. T appeared, Dylan began his usual growling and such. HOWEVER, I put him up on the table and all he did was continue the growling and try to climb up on my shoulders. Dr. T approached him and Dylan bristled, but I was able to hold his face looking at me while the doctor examined him WITHOUT SEDATION. This, my friends, is abso-fuckin'-lutely AMAZING. I took a big chance and risked jinxing myself by gloating to Dr.T that this was the first time we were able to ixnay the drugs, but my luck didn't break. Dr.T didn't even charge me for the visit. Dylan does have to go in for minor surgery next Thursday to have the mole and lump removed, though I think it's mainly cosmetic. I was assured that it's nothing to be concerned about. Plus, I get the huge added bonus of his teeth getting cleaned so it's possible that I won't be greeted with the stench of rotting corpses everytime he breathes near me. That's always a plus in my book. Naturally though, Thursday is the only day I have "off" next week so I'm going to have to sacrifice the dream of sleep and have him there by 8am. I've been told that he should be ready to come home around 4 so I should be able to squeeze in a nap btwn drop off and pick up.
In my extreme state of jubilation I bought him some Greenie treats. Foolishly, I removed the $6 that were in my purse. Dear God, those things are expensive! He was very happy with them though and has since consumed 5 of them. That's acceptable because he's also lost 4 lbs since his last doctors visit when I found out what a fat pig he really is. I have since demanded that my mother cease her constant food sharing activities and it has paid off. I still catch her, on occasion, dropping a cookie on the floor or something...usually in a defiant effort to thwart my plans. I say this because such incidences seem to occur directly succeeding my requests to NOT feed him. He has also attacked Riley at least twice since we've been home, but from the sounds of the fights they seem to have been very short attacks. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Riley incited the throwdowns, either.
And here he is pretending to be dead in waiting to attack Riley.
I'd like to say that they usually don't look that scuzzy....but really they often do. They'll come back from the groomers looking all fluffy, white and soft and it'll last for about 30 minutes. In all fairness, due to their wet stringy hair , I suspect that they just came in from playing in either the snow, rain or mud before that last picture was taken.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

God help me, I finished them! A tale of sock horror.

Yet another FO. These socks both pissed me off to the extreme and made me happy that I've clearly learned more patience in my knitting.

And a little closer...
And closer, still....
Pattern: Spring Thaw Socks by Cat Bordhi, found in the current Knitters mag
Yarn: BMFA STR lightweight in Amber
Needles: US 2, worked magic loop
Mg's of Xanax taken: 50
Don't get me wrong, I love these socks. As soon as I saw the pattern I HAD to make them. Seeing as how I 1) have giant feet and 2) am not exactly a pro at knitting socks from the toe up, I had some trepidation about doing these. They're 56 or 58 stitches and I'm used to doing more like 64-80 depending on yarn and needles. After trying on the toe several times I deemed the width sufficient as the twisted rib has incredible stretch. Seriously, unstretched these socks are about as wide as my three middle fingers. So obstacle one solved. Then came that goddamn gusset increase. I don't know why, but I NEVER trust the directions when it comes to where I should start doing them on toe up socks. This pattern has a very concise formula, as do most Cat Bordhi patterns with the "new" architectures, but I was confused. Seeing as how these socks were to be stretched to amazing proportions, I didn't know if I should be measuring my gauge for such calculations while it was just laying there or on my foot. I think the first go at these, I took my stretched measurement and then totally overshot my foot length. You have to do a certain number of rows in pattern to get to the heel and when I was at row 17 of 44 the foot was already working it's way up my ankle. Frog #1. I carefully ripped it back and started again....and apparently ripped exactly back to where my measurement mistake had taken place and did the exact thing over again. Frog #2. I carefully ripped it back and made sure to actually go back further on the foot. Still too big. Frog #3, though this one occurred at about row 30 in the pattern. It then occurred to me to redo my measurements. I used the unstretched rpi and remeasured my foot, finding it to be about half an inch shorter than before. So I started again. Then something else happened...which I've obviously blocked from my memory because of the trauma and I had to frog it AGAIN.
So...I finally got my first sock finished, though I ran into mild issues with the heel. Due to lack of attention span, I did something that got my stitches all over the place rather than on there designated needles. I muddled thru. When it came time to bind off I painstakingly searched the internet and found a good tutorial on the tubular bind off. I went to work all set to complete my sock and quickly found that I had left the friggin' 16 page tutorial at home AND the internet at the store wasn't working. Considering that my sock was my only knitting for the day, I was peeved. Luckily I had the foresight to look in the magazine index and there were instructions. I then found that I loathe doing a tubular bind off, but I got thru it. Apparently, though, where it says in the instructions to pull certain stitches "snug", it's a vicious lie. I then sat there and picked thru my stitches to loosen them and in the process ended up with some jacked up bind off that looks like armless person did it with their mouth and feet. So happy was I to have the sock done that I just said fuck it.
After all this it, I handled the remaining yarn and found that it felt disappointingly light. I scoured the store for the scale and couldn't find it. Putting my faith in sheer luck, I cast on for the 2nd sock. When I got home I broke out the scale and lo and behold, sock #1 weighed 2.10 oz and ball remains weighed 1.9 oz. "Fuck!!" I thought...and said...a lot. Since I already had some of the toe done I weighed it, too. It was something like .5 oz but had a needle stuck thru it. I decided to go ahead. It shortly became apparent that there was no way in hell that I was going to have enough know, because I couldn't have figured that from the missing oz's on the scale. I decided to suck it up and order more yarn only to find that Amber was one of the colorways that BMFA pulled just days before I needed it. So I checked on Ravelry to see if anyone had some up for sale. No. I decided that I could get a good ways up the leg and even though ,because these are toe up socks, any mismatched color would be the showing part, I could substitute a similar colored yarn at the top. And then I knit as tight as I could.
Somehow, and this is beyond me, I was able to finish the socks with the one ball of yarn. I even had a tiny bit leftover. AND my second sock is a little longer than my first even though I knit as tight as tight can be. And Voila! My socks are complete and I am nervous breakdown free!
Last night I cast on for some Mittens Interrupted by Eunny Jang with some StormMoonKnits Celestial Bulky for which I've been hoarding until the perfect project came along.
My hand really doesn't look like a brightly colored cow least I hope not. I'm super happy with these and they're such a joy to make after the hell of the Spring Thaw socks. I was planning on finishing them at the hospital today while my grandpa saw the doctor but I, ever the tard, left all the finishing tools at home so I just sat there in the waiting area holding them. I may even have them finished tonight if I don't royally screw up the thumb. I have a way of doing that. I think they're completely awesome and thank StormMoonKnits for creating such a yarny masterpiece with which I can work. The thought of making these probably is what kept the Xanax at 50mg's rather than 150-ish.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Not Dead!!

Wow, for someone who was going to make a effort to really stay on top of the blogging this year, I suck BIG TIME. Life has been particularly busy lately and while I've had ample time to knit, I haven't been able to squeeze in the logging of artsy activities. Sorry.

My progress in the 52 Pair Plunge is going at approximately the rate of a turtle stuck in molasses while trying to move up a steep cliff. I've knit some single socks...but they don't really count. I do, however, have this to show.

Pattern: Spring Forward by Linda Welch, available in the current Knitty.
Yarn: BMFA STR Mediumweight in the Lunasea colorway.
Needles: US 2's, done magic loop
I did 3 full repeats on the cuff. These socks took an extraordinary amount of time to complete despite the fact that the pattern is quite easy and structured in such a way that the sections roll by. The delay was due to a variety of factors, including but not limited to a shitty needle that was way too short for magic looping, loss of pattern while my computer was out of action, sweltering Italian heat that kept me from knitting like I planned to, and general distraction. The 4th installment of my Rockin' Sock Club came in right after I got back from my trip so that kind of stole my attention. Sadly, and typically, I have yet to complete that pair.
What else, what else....I went back to work at the yarn shop. That's going well and I have to say that while having to wake up in the morning isn't exactly my cup of tea at the moment, I very much enjoy being back. In fact, I kind of like working the morning shift as it's generally easier on my day. It's just a little tough at the start since the decision of when I go to sleep at night seems to no longer be my own. Gotta love the old folks.
The next thing on my knitting agenda is completing Cat Bordhi's Spring Thaw socks from the newest Knitters magazine. I've been having some "issues" with that which I'll go into more detail on when I have the FO to show. Also, as the weathers been getting a bit chillier at night I'd like to get my newest Clapotis done. I think it's going to be absolutely ass kicking when it's done. I just get easily bored with the Clap pattern. Still, the project is sitting here by my knitting chair taunting me with it's glowing green and yellow beauty.
Oh, oh!! I don't know if I mentioned this previously because I haven't posted in an eon but I've been gifted the basement as my craft and exercise room. That'll be mega sweet but I have a LOT of work to do down there before I can get moved in. I'm going to have to do some major stash reorganization which I'm not exactly looking forward to.
I think that about covers it. Till next time....which hopefully won't be such a long time off.