Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hat Pic

Finally, a picture of the latest hat for Hats for Sailors:

  • Pattern:  Checking on the Colonel from Ravelry.
  • Needles:  U.S. 6
  • Yarn:  Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Bordeaux and Rainforest Heather

This hat is an “extra”—one I hadn’t planned when I bought yarn.  It is knitted from leftovers of two other hats, so that means that I can make one more hat than I intended for this project out of the yarn I had budgeted.  This is the last of the worsted.  Now I have some hats to knit from Swish DK.  Perhaps I’ll get an extra or so from that yarn as well!  The deadline for this set of hats is Memorial Day.

I am still not back 100% as far as lace knitting concentration goes, but I am treating myself to recuperation by overindulgence in reading, and I am off very early in the morning to spend a day with my youngest granddaughter while her dad is at work and her aunt is out of town.  She just told me on the telephone that we are going to play and read books.  It sounds like fun.  (I am packing a hat knitting project to take with me because she still tends to be a good napper.) 

Note:  I just removed the small child seat from my car today and replaced it with the booster-size seat.  They are all getting big so fast!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Recovery

I’m not sure slow and steady actually wins the race, but I’m getting there!  In spite of being able to finish the hat decreases the other day, I am still not up to knitting lace—my concentration wanders.  I know because I tried.  That does not, however, stop me from making preparations.  I know that I blogged awhile back about having Grandma’s crochet needles—the ones she always warned me about.  Well, the beads for this shawl are smaller, and I didn’t have a tiny needle in my inherited ones that was not a somewhat tight fit.  Since I’ve been spending time on the Internet and not knitting and beading, I ordered a smaller needle.  A reviewer described using one of these to tuck single hairs back into her ethnic hairdo,  I hope it will work.  I’m sure Grandma will be relieved to know that it came with a safety cap!

photo(31)

We did drive out of town today for lunch and to buy a couple of items and run an errand to the courthouse.  It was nice to be out on a pretty, sunny, non-windy day.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I Knitted!

I had another quiet and lazy day—reading, watching television, and napping.  I’m still mostly eating soup and yogurt, which certainly cuts down on the cooking. 

This afternoon, however, I did manage a little bit of knitting, and it was rather persnickety knitting, too.  I always find it hard to knit one of those hats which has an interesting textured pattern that I memorize.  Then I get to the decreases and face row after row of written instructions, each row different, and impossible to “read” in the fabric as you knit because you can’t tell how they are supposed to go.  I had made an aborted attempt earlier in the week, frogged back to the beginning of the decreases, and put the hat away.  This afternoon I finished it, with the aid of moving sticky notes and lots of counting.

I’m off to bed now!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Partway Through

I looked hard online for a sort-of-happy emoticon image to start this post with, but I didn’t find one handy.

Yesterday was a remarkably good day.  I had had an abscessed tooth since the previous Saturday, and yesterday I got rid of it!  The long wait was due to the weekend and to not wanting to go off to another city and leave my house wide open with the sewer/plumbing crew here.  I am reasonably sure they were trustworthy, but since they were under, not in, an open house, I wanted someone to be here, and I needed my hubby to drive.  I was absolutely a nervous wreck before the time came, and now I’m a little bit angry about that.  This was not the first extraction I’ve had, and I’ve spent lots of time in the dental chair due to having extensive orthodontic work as a teenager.  I am not an afraid-of-the-dentist person.  However, my dentist said he was sending me to an oral surgeon for the extraction because “you never know how those roots are going to be curled around” AFTER he had made an x-ray.  And when the receptionist making the appointment asked me twice if I was sure I didn’t want “to be put to sleep” for the procedure, I began to worry.  Yesterday, the extraction was the most painless dentist visit for some actual work that I ever remember.  It was over in a snap. (How easy was it?  They are sending me a refund because it was less complicated.  When has that ever happened?)  I am feeling much, much better between the antibiotics and having the tooth out of there even though there is a little bit of pain and soreness.  I have plenty of yogurt and soup and things are looking up.  By this afternoon, perhaps I will be at the point where I will quit thinking about my mouth and my discomfort as the most important thing in the world and move on.  I’m tired of this nonsense!

The other good thing about yesterday was that I got to see my daughter and visit with her at the library and at her house.  She had the three granddaughters with her for their monthly mass book checkout.  It is so nice to see how excited they are about reading books!  Then they got ready to go to their co-op school day, and DH and I took off to lunch.  Our son was able to eat lunch with us--or with his dad; I just had liquids.  It was nice to visit with him for awhile.

Now I’m off to drink some semi-hot tea and watch an episode of Bones!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Knit Free

In addition to the allergy and the sewer, I spent the rest of the weekend with an abscessed tooth.  Went to the dentist yesterday, got antibiotics and pain meds, and an appointment with the oral surgeon for Thursday.

No knitting is taking place!  I attempted working on a hat for Hats for Sailors, a very simple pattern of knits and purls, and it was a total mess.  That was before the pain meds.  After I got home yesterday, I spent the afternoon in the recliner, occasionally staring numbly at my Kindle or listening to an audio book, but mostly in a doze with the feeling that my nose kept growing and shrinking.  Thanks to the meds, though, I did get a good night’s sleep.  This morning, the antibiotics are beginning to work and I’ve been able to get by with Ibuprophen and another nap.  I am also up to sending this post and lining up future projects on Ravelry.

I did get to use an iPad last night for the first time.  Our final sewer work was finished, and the company is doing its billing as well as its quoting and estimates immediately on computer.  Then they asked me to write a note of evaluation for their Facebook site.  My evaluation of the iPad typing experience is that it is like big texting.  The keyboard would not substitute for me to do the kind of typing that I am doing here.  That is my satisfaction judgment.  It would, of course, type, but for someone who learned to type on a manual typewriter the feel of the experience is not the same.  Having to switch to the alternate keyboard for the numbers and punctuation is a killer for speed.  The device itself would be great for certain purposes.  I do not think that I would like it as an ereader because it would be too uncomfortable to hold in a book reading position for an extended period of time.  It would be great fun and useful for other things, though, so if any of you out there want to donate one to me, have at it!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

NOT

cmHOUSEWIFE_ARTICLE_narrowweb__300x443,0

I am throwing a small pity party for myself.  After a week with only partial sewer, and two days without, necessitating trips to the convenience store and the Public Library, we can flush, shower, launder, and run the dishwasher.  However, this state will only be good till Monday, when we will again be disconnected intermittently so that the outside part of the line can be replaced.  Yep, this involved the part under the house.  It involved cutting another access through the floor on the other end of the house.  It involved cutting through the wall through the backs of two base kitchen cabinets.  Above all, it involved the dust under a pier and beam house billowing up into the living space through both those floor openings.  My sinuses are killing me.  Everything is covered with grit.  I can put some things back in place, but there’s little point in doing any real cleaning because they are going to have to get back under again on Monday!  The worst part is that my face hurts too bad to knit, or at least to knit successfully.  The work crew has been very nice and considerate.  It’s just life, and it is going to make life much better to have these things working well, but. . . .

On the other hand, I’ve probably not found going to the bathroom to be such a thrill since I was about 2!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lace and Plumbing

There’s been a slight delay in the lace knitting.  I slowed down to wait on the beads to arrive in the mail.  Although they were shipped very promptly, they are taking their time in arriving.  It appears that they used a day traveling from Plano to Coppell, which is about 25 miles.  I estimate from the rest of the tracking information that they should arrive tomorrow, so I finished Chart 2A tonight in order to be ready to start the border tomorrow.

photo(22)

Lace knitting tools that I’m finding most useful:

  • a clipboard to hold my charts, resting across the armrest and the edge of the table under my
  • Ott lite
  • My Knit Picks Harmony needles—sharp points and just the right amount of slip
  • a sticky note to move to keep my place on the chart
  • some small regular knitting markers, placed exactly where these excellent instructions say to place them
  • some of these knitting markers  (mine are from Knit Picks, but I know there are other brands as well).  photo(29)I use them for two different purposes—when counting at the end of chart repeats, I snap one on the cable at the end of each set of 50 stitches.  It is much easier for me to count accurately that way, and if I see a place where I have a mistake, usually an omitted YO, I mark it with one of these so that I can fix it on the next row. 

 

We have been squeaking by on limited sewer facilities all week.  The plumbers are going to begin tomorrow replacing the line to the alley and some of the lines under the house as well.  I will be so glad to have everything working again!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Scattered Saturday

Bad News:  We are having sewer line problems.  The line that goes to both of the main baths, including the shower and the tub, is completely stopped up and unusable.  The other line that it joins is making funny noises, but it has the kitchen, the washing machine, and, thank heavens, a toilet.  It will be at least Monday before someone can come to work on the line.

Good News:  Since we couldn’t do much here this morning, we drove to Clovis for a pizza for lunch.  The good part is that we drove in such a heavy mist that we had to use wipers going and coming!  This is the most precipitation we have had in awhile, and, yes, we did refer to it as “rain,” just because.

Knitting:  I am still knitting on the Ashton Shawl.  I have one more repeat of the all-over pattern on the main part before I transition and begin the edging.  I could knit more right now, but I decided I want some beads.  I couldn’t find any in Clovis today, so I ordered when I got home.  That means I have until at least Tuesday to finish one more repeat and then the one-time through of Chart C before I need to start with the beads.

So. . . .

I have begun some special holiday knitting.  Tiny knitted bunnies from the Mochimochi Land blog.  I’m using up some sock yarn leftovers, so mine will be more “natural” colored bunnies than the pastel or primary ones that some knitters are making.  For the moment, I am stuck until I go hunt up my bag of stuffing in the other room.  

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

A Clarification

A few days ago, I indulged in what has to be one of the most depressing of modern experiences—reading the comments to news articles that are posted on line.  It would be so nice to read civil, thoughtful discourse, but instead the posters seem mostly to come from the dregs of society, or at least they feel free to portray themselves that way.  Anyone who attempts civility is soon shouted down.

However, to the persons who were posting really nasty things about my home state last week, and of all things invoking the spirit of Sam Houston to do so, you are, of course, entitled to free speech and to your opinions.  However, one of you made quite pointed references to our state battle cry, “Don’t Mess with Texas!”  Sorry, but that’s actually the trademarked slogan of the anti-litter campaign of the Texas Department of Highways.

Today, March 6, is the anniversary of the final assault in the Battle of the Alamo in 1836.  The battle cry of Texas, inscribed on the reverse of our state seal, is “Remember the Alamo!” 

the-alamo

If you happen to be in San Antonio with its fascinating River Walk and its basketball team, spare a little time to visit the Alamo.  Go the first thing in the morning, when the traffic noise is quieter and there are not quite so many other visitors.  Spend a little time in the building and the museum and then sit quietly in the beautiful garden and imagine it as it was 176 years ago and remember the price that has been paid and is still being paid for our freedoms:

The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken -- I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls -- I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism, & every thing dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch -- The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country --

VICTORY OR DEATH

William Barret Travis
Lt. Col. Comdt.

William Barret Travis died at his post on the cannon platform at the northeast corner of the fortress.  He was 26 years old.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

A Quick Update

Today I worked on the Ashton Shawlette in the Summer Blooms colorway of Knit Picks Shadow. So far, I am very pleased with the pattern. The description said that it included a tutorial and very specific instructions for beginners in chart reading. Although I’m not exactly a beginner, I sometimes have trouble with charts, and I’m finding this tutorial very helpful, both because the directions are very clear and specific and because the designer has added extra information to the charts themselves that make counting and keeping one’s place much easier. The best thing is that I can see that it would be easy to add this kind of information to other charts, so I am learning something that will be helpful in the future.

Here’s a picture of what I have so far.

photo(20)

I have completed chart 1 and two repeats of chart 2. The pattern calls for 5 repeats of chart 2 but gives instructions, including counts and estimated yardage percentages for adding extra repeats of 2 to expand the shawlette to a shawl, which is what I plan to do. I’m going for nine repeats before moving on to 2A and 3. I hope my delight with the pattern writing continues to the end.

Yarn Note: I am finding the Shadow Tonal to be a quite satisfactory yarn to knit with, but since I am wanting this for a summer wrap, I kind of wish the yarn did not have quite so fuzzy an appearance. I started to go for the alpaca/silk blend, but it is a much finer yarn, and I felt rather insecure of my knitting ability. I still think this will make a nice lightweight shawl since I don’t think I’ll be using all of the approximately 3.5 ounces of yarn.

Book Note: Last night I finished listening to the audio book of We Bought a Zoo. I found it to be moving, entertaining, and informative. I have heard some good things about the movie, but I would really like to see the television documentary-type short series Ben’s Zoo which was on BBC2 before I see the movie. I’ll have to do some searching. Edit: I just found out the episodes are available on line. All I had to do was Google.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Prep Work

On Thursday, I again took some knitting when my husband went to the courthouse and sat and knitted just because I could.  Since I’m between major projects, I loaded up my little Dick and Jane project bag with some superwash wool and started another hat for the Hats for Sailors project.  I did meet another knitter, who stopped and asked me how I could knit on such small needles—I was using 8s.  She is knitting a scarf at home on big needles.  She also mentioned sock knitting because her daughter-in-law has asked for some handknit socks.  Since I know what office she is in, I plan to take socks on needles when we go back in May.  After DH finished, we drove to Clovis for lunch at the Cotton Patch and a grocery shopping trip, mainly for the fresh produce we can’t seem to get locally.

This afternoon, however, I did one of those yarny tasks that I usually procastinate about.  I am rather proud since some of this yarn just arrived day before yesterday.  I had already moved my swift into my soon to be knitting and sewing room, so I set up in there and went to work.  (I think my DH is even prouder than I am of my Mama Bear Swift because it means that he is not having to sit there and hold yarn while I wind.)  I did 12 skeins, 4 of which were lace weight with a lot of yardage.  The others were fingering.

Here is a picture of my winding setup using the blocking board which was already on the bed because I had been blocking a stealth project.  This actually worked much better than the way I had been doing it.

photo(10)

Then I wound and wound:

photo(16)

Socks-to-be from Claudia Handpainted that my daughter’s family gave me for Christmas.

photo(18)

Reynolds Top Seed Cotton for a woven scarf.  This is a cabled mercerized cotton that I bought from WEBS on sale when I ordered some other yarn.

photo(14)

Knit Picks Shadow Tonal in Blue Violet and Summer Bloom. 

I’m going to try to make a couple of lace shawls for myself for summer.  I picked the tonal because I like the look of hand dyed yarn, but I think most yarns with a strong color variation make it difficult to see the lace design.  However, a little bit of variety in the color also helps hide a mistake or two, and I’ll certainly need that!