Thursday, May 31, 2007
lather, rinse, repeat
I'm so happy with my purple squatty sidekick, I've started a bigger one in a varigated pink Malabrigo. I've finished the base and am working my way up the sides now. I love this yarn. Soft, squishy, just incredible. A blanket in this stuff would be heavenly, but not being able to machine wash it would make it an instant hairball magnet!

Back to the sidekick. Knitting Daily calls this an "Easy" project (two yarn balls!). You have to be able to increase, decrease, pick up stitches on the sides, knit in the round and make an i-cord. The note to slip the first stitch knitwise while making the bottom was a very good recommendation. I constantly lose track of where I am when I am knitting stockinette. All I can figure is I go into a trance and forget to click my row counter when I finish the row. So I am constantly counting rows. For the increase I did a kfb because I like that increase better than just looping the yarn over the needle or picking up the bar between stitches. I also added markers at each corner of the base, with a different color to signify the start of the row. Having the markers at each corner also helped with making sure I put the increases and decreases where they needed to be - otherwise the bag won't be even.

I love the little sidekick, but I tend to carry a fair amount of stuff (see pic from the weekend for the pared down version). We shall see how much this one felts down.

In other news, my training ends tomorrow. I didn't have very high expectations for this training, I needed hours for my recertification and the topics looked fairly basic, so I had hoped it would be a good refresher. Which it has been. Having a great instructor has made this much more interesting. Though I feel like I revert to a toddler when I go to training. I can't sit still to save my life. Having a really uncomfortable chair just about did me in. My back is in very bad shape, not sure how I am going to get through the spinning demo tomorrow night.

But I've been very productive in my attempts to keep busy so I could pay attention. I did doodles. My to-do list grew and I have obsessed more about knitting than I thought possible. I even wrote some of this post during training. I really wish I could have knit during the session, but figured it would be a distraction for everyone else.

And I am happy to report that Mother Nature finally decided to help out my brown grass. It is raining!!!!!

Now I'm off to try and figure out what to get my parents for their anniversary (tomorrow). It will likely be cash towards their dinner tomorrow night. The other candidate is one of those digital photo frame things, so they can show off the pictures from their trips.

That's all for now!

Monday, May 28, 2007
Quiet Time
May has been a whirlwind of emotions and activity. And smoke - as the town has been on again off again shrouded in the smoke from the fires in Florida and Georgia. We are in a drought here, so trying to balance water conservation with the yard that is rapidly becoming a dirt pile.

stashI did finish the indexing work, though I have a few tweaks to make to my backup. In my delirium, I got a little crazy on the shopping. A while back, a friend alerted me to the limited release of Just Nan's Lady Scarlett's Secret Garden. I quickly got on the waitlist for two (one for me, one for mom) and it arrived this month. I also ordered a bunch of books: Barbara Walker's Treasurys (1,3, and 4), Romantic Style, Knitting Lingerie Style, and Domiknitrix. I am still reading through these, but I am thrilled with all of them.

scarletI finally started Lady Scarlett last night and here's my progress so far - I just love that little ladybug box! My plan was to do one for me and one for my mom, we shall see if I can get them done!

Back when I started knitting (two years ago this month!), I didn't know a lot of knitters in my area. So I did a lot of blog surfing to see other knitters finished projects. One project that I really liked was the squatty satchel, found on Kristi's blog. I thought it was so cute, I had to have one. But, the design was no where to be found. So I went along my way, making other felted bags and other projects. So, imagine my joy when last week's Knitting Daily email contained a design for the Squatty Satchel!!!! before I cast on a few days ago with Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride. Finished it Saturday and felted it on Sunday. I picked up the button from Joann's. Felted version shown "fully loaded" and flat to show how much it felted down. after I am not organized enough to have measured it before felting it, but the chair does a sufficient job I think! I love how the Brown Sheep felted down, it's nice and thick. loaded

While knitting and stitching this weekend I have spent a lot of quiet time at home, to the delight of my cats. Not the most productive of weekends, but quite restful. I have to do some work today, which isn't fun, but my allergies were so bad last week with the smoke, I wasn't able to finish my assignment. I am going to be out at training all week, so its gotta be today! Assuming my boss is happy with my assignment, I hope to spend some time this week looking at my stash and trying to get a little more organized, both in storage and the projects I want to do.

Thursday, May 10, 2007
Finally knitting and more yarn
So I agreed to take on a side job (book editing and indexing), which of course was ready for me to work on it when my "real job" was at its peak. So I had finally started working on it the week before my grandmother died, at which point I stopped again. I am having a hard time getting back into the groove.

Times a wasting and here I am blogging! But I have owed the blog a boat-load (blog-load?) of pictures so here goes:

This is the shawl I plan to give mom for mothers day (in blue) and the shawl I am currently working on for myself (in green). Both are in rumple (100% silk) from Handmaiden. I really love this stuff! Neither of these are the rumple shawl that I mentioned before, which the test version is currently still in process.


Next up, another shawl in handpainted silk (hmm, sense a theme?). This one is mine too.


This would be some more handpainted silk (because I loved doing the shawl pictured above) and some sea silk (sigh) to do this.


It just followed me home, honest. Other things that have found their way to my house include:


Mission falls cotton, SWTC bamboo, Fleece Artist seawool, and Fiber Trends dune. Oh, and did I mention amazon and knitpicks have my name (and my credit card)?

Ah procrastination! Time to go earn some of this stash! Afterall, I certainly can't do laundry right now!



Goose report
No knitting content here....just more news. Another occurance in the past few weeks was two canadian geese decided to take up residence in my backyard. I am really not a fan of these geese, don't get me wrong, they are pretty, but they tend to make a mess. I had to stop feeding the songbirds because they would rip up the grass to get to the seed. And there was that wonderful time where the only lake nearby that actually had water in it was the one off my backyard. The joy of counting 60 geese(yes, 60 geese) in your backyard that is less than a quarter of an acre in size is pretty darn frightening. Yep, my grass was really green that spring.

So, anyway, I do enjoy watching the baby geese grow each year. I have picture after picture of these babies as they change from yellow, to grey, to the traditional colorway. It was difficult to ignore the messes they left up and down my driveway as they went on walkabout. And this year was the first year that it was actually in my backyard! I was prepared for the aggression from the male, so I pretty much stayed out of the way and tried not to bug them too much. I think this must have been the first year for this pair though. After 5 eggs, this was the result:


Most adorable, but apparently not meant to be. It appears that the same night my grandmother died, this little guy/gal passed on as well. Based on my neighbor's observation, since I was a little occupied and rarely home last week. I'm not sure what happened. We have a number of hawks in the neighborhood, so I had been stealing myself for him to not make it after he did this little walkabout without parental supervision. But it looks like he died in the nest. The adults abandoned the nest towards the end of last week so I buried the baby and disposed of the eggs.

One more shot to give some perspective on the tinyness of this bird, taken last Monday before I left for work:


I can't help but feel bad for them, but hopefully they will do better next year (maybe in another yard!).

Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Miss you Nana
It has just been a whirlwind of a week. My grandmother passed away on May 1, two months shy of her 92nd birthday. I'm currently torn between the emotions of glad she is no longer having to live with the pain that she faced everyday and the devestating loss of a woman that was with me for almost every birthday and christmas that I have had. I've had small moments of tremendous despair, moments where I reflect and the tears just stream down my face (like now), and moments where I am ok.
This is one of my favorite pictures of the two of us. I'm only two, but I think you can see how truly special my Nana was to me even then. Yes, I was spoiled. But not the bad kind of spoiled. She was a very good grandmother to me and I think I was a good granddaughter. There are lots of wonderful memories that I will treasure.

She was never much for needlework, loving books far more - sometimes reading the same book over and over. I think she did a cross stitch tablecloth that she gave me, but my mom doesn't think she did it. Her mother did a lot of needlework - mainly crochet and quilting.

Her reading had started to decline recently as her eyesight was getting worse. Last month, my mother and I were shocked when she announced that she had taken a quilting class and she needed some stitching supplies.

She frequently reminded me that she wasn't going to live forever. Though I would have liked a little more time. These next few months will be difficult (particulary this weekend), but friends tell me that things will get less difficult over time. So I keep busy, working, hanging out with friends, and buying a "little bit" of yarn. More on that, I need to start working on improving my health as I fear that my grandmother's issues might be my own one day.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Away from the computer
My family has had a hard loss. Will be back soon.