Monday, July 31, 2006

Shawls , Y'all

Diamond Fantasy Shawl
Pattern by Sivia Harding
Socks that Rock medium weight in Ruby Slippers. One skein and I barely finished after cutting out the last five rows of the sixth repeat.

The yarn was a dream to knit with, I love the variegation, and it's a nice size (60" wide by 24" deep)

Flower Basket Shawl (yes, I know it looks like the same shot, but it's not)
Pattern by Evelyn Clark
about 600 yds of El Coyote Ranch mohair that's between lace and fingering weights
10 repeats yielding a shawl 70" wide and 34" deep

I had plenty of yarn, but I decided that, at 5'1", I did not need a larger shawl. I had knit 4 rows of the 11th repeat when that little nagging voice in the back of my head told me to unknit them and do the border instead. I'm glad I listened for once!

The El Coyote mohair is fabulous yarn, but I had some problems with the color bleeding a ton. It took a number of rinses to get the water to be very light pink at which point I decided to block. The yarn did not bleed on the blocking towels, so I think I'm OK.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

I had intended to come back from vacation and really start blogging again. Alas, this week has ganged up on me.

Bean is in Ballet Camp from 10am to noon every day. Long enough for me to almost accomplish something. But not quite.

Then we come home and eat lunch and I spend the next several hours trying to convince her that she really needs a nap and, just when I'm ready to throw in the towel, she passes out from exhaustion. Because she also has swimming lessons M-TH at 7pm for the next two weeks. It was either a 7pm class with two other kids that meets for half an hour or so, or 8am with a horde of other kids. I'm not much of a morning person.

By the time she takes a nap, I want nothing more than to get something done around the house. (Today: filing and paying bills. After insurance paid their bit, we paid around a thousand bucks for optical and dental bills for everyone last month. So many lost yarn opportunities.) Then, I watch whatever I Tivo'd last night.

I'm barely reading blogs, much less creating my own entries. I swear, I'm going to get back to a regular posting schedule. Really. Just as soon as I get back to a regular knitting schedule...

Monday, July 24, 2006

Tanned, Rested and Ready

We had a wonderful vacation. When we checked in, we were upgraded to the club level which meant free breakfast and free happy hour from 5-7 each night. And the happy hour had incredible snacks: Fruit platters, cheeses, four hot appetizers that varied each night.

We spent the whole time swimming in the gorgeous pools. There is an adults-only pool and then there is a incredible layout of smaller pools (and when I say small I mean the size of a backyard pool) that are interconnected with a lazy river type setup and then a smaller wading pool for the very little ones (we referred to that one as the tee-tee pool).

We would get up each morning and have breakfast and be down at the pools around 9. We swam until around 11.30, grabbed some lunch poolside and then headed up to the room so that Bean could nap. Dr Pig and I traded off going down to the gym and working out (yeah, I know, but the gym was so fabulous I hated to miss out). Bean would sleep for a while and then we'd get dressed and head to happy hour and have some snacks and drinks, followed by another few hours in the pool. We considered going to Sea World, but it was 105F the first day and similar until a slight cooldown to 98 the last day and Bean really wanted to SWIM!

All in all, a most relaxing and luxurious time.

Some knitting was completed but it's my bedroom where Bean is currently napping. She's got swimming lessons this evening, so I want her well-rested for that.

I've also completed nine repeats on the Flower Basket Shawl.

I love this pattern.

Good thing since this is my third one!

I've only used up one 360 yard ball of not-quite-fingering-weight mohair, which worries me a bit because the "small shawl" is supposed to take 675 yards of yarn at 11 repeats. I went down to a size 5US needle because the DFS turned out so open and I wanted to be able to see the pattern on this one. I think that I'll continue through 10 repeats and see how I feel. I'm pretty short and I don't want something that hangs down too far.

The only problem so far is that the yarn does not appear to be colorfast because it has dyed my hands and needles fuschia. I've been using Lava soap after each knitting session, but there is still a tinge of pink all over my hands. I hope I can rinse out enough dye to be able to wear the shawl. Otherwise, I'm going to be hitting up some of you dyers to find out how to set Gaywool dyes. It's a lovely color of pink, not as dayglo as the pciture appears - my camera has a huge red bias, but not so much on my hands and clothes.

Monday, July 17, 2006

It's really hot here so we are going to go on vacation somewhere equally hot. But at least the equally hot place is a resort with a plethora of pools.

Back in about a week.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The shop has been having a huge sale all this week, so I've been working alot.

Today was the last day and all of us went to a nearby restaurant for a celebratory libation after the shop closed. I walk in closely followed by two more people at which point a waitron flaps up and tells us, "Close the door!" Now, it's over 100F outside, so this is not unreasonable, BUT, when I inform said waitron that there are more people coming (and we are still coming in the door as there are 8 of us), he flaps back, "You're letting all the air conditioning that we've stored up out!"

I said, "We can leave if you like."

There is a reason that when we left at 7pm, there were only two other people in the whole place. Not two other tables, two other people.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

whoa Nelly!

I finished the Diamond Fantasy Shawl but I can't find the camera. It's OK. I loved the yarn, but I should have gone down a needle size, because it wanted to block HUGE. The scarf is supposed to be something like 50 inches across. Yeah. Mine is close to 70 inches. 350 yards of yarn and I have a shawl, not a scarg. It's very, very open.

On the good side, with the openness of the shawl, you can't really see great, huge, honking error near the top of the shawl where I repeated a row somehow.

On the bad side, you don't really get a feel for the pattern unless you know what you are looking for, because the shawl is so open.

There is no way in hell I'm trying to frog it as none of these problems became apparent until I had blocked the damn thing. While I liked the pattern, I wasn't so entranced that I want to knit it again right away.

So, I did what any sane person would do. I cast on for a Flower Basket Shawl in the screaming pink El Coyote mohair I have stashed away. Because screaming pink just screams FBS. It's gonna be Electric Grandma. I did learn from DFS. I went down two needle sizes.

So there!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Bean: Daddy, you and I are scientists!
Dr Pig: Yep! (Note - Daddy really is a scientist.)
Bean: And Mommy is a frozen ice expert.

Y'know, if you add tequila to the ice, she's probably right.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Better You Bet

I'm feeling alot more perky today than I have in a while. It's been a busy summer and there have been a few too many lows not balanced by highs.

Last night, we went to dinner with friends who have a daughter who was in Bean's class last year. Bean didn't get to bed until around 10, which is 2 hours past her bedtime, but we all had so much fun it was worth it.

I've had my big walk today in lovely weather.

The mail yesterday brought some fun things:
Fun sock yarn from my Dye-O-Rama pal, Linda. She also included a pretty bookmark and a book for Bean, which is very much appreciated.

In the middle is an early surprise from my KSKS pal - a nifty "Gettin' Knit Together" bag from Knit & Plenty stuffed with all sorts of niceties to make keeping track of your knitting alot easier. And I love the orange trimmed bag. I love orange anyway and this is just so fun.

And, on the bottom, two skeins of Handmaiden Sea Silk in the Sangria colorway. Destined to become a Lotus Blossom Shawl at some point. Mmmmm, soooooooooffffffffttttt.

I've also been knitting a bunch.

DFS in red, CeCe in blue, a picot-edged sock in STR X-Mas Rock and the second Oak Ribbed sock in red Regia.

I found that I was not knitting much at all, because both of my projects were lace, which is not great night time knitting for me.

Wednesday, I got tired of having no night time knitting, so I cast on for both socks and knit their cuffs in order to get some alternatives underway.

I find that when I'm tired, I frequently want to knit, but I don't want to concentrate so I don't want to cast on for anything new.

The best thing about today? Dr Pig (aka Hubster) had a paper accepted to a scientific conference in Japan. Even better, his company agreed to send him to said conference. Woohoo! I'm not going, but I'm so proud and happy for him. It's a big deal.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Summer of Suck

My mother has had two cornea transplants over the last couple of years. Today, she found out she has glaucoma. She's under very good care, but really, this is a bit much. My father has Parkinson's Disease, so the aging process is not treating my parents at all well. To say that it sucks is a major understatement.

The condition that necessitated the cornea transplants is highly hereditary. Bleh.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th!

Here's what I did this morning. Watch for a few seconds until you get to the lady in the beehive wig with the pink feather boa (that's my co-floater, Lisa). Right after her, there is a good shot of my daughter (again with the boas) and a blink-and-you'll-miss-it shot of all three of us in the back of the pickup. I'm the one with the poodle on my head.

Bean thinks she's the hot ticket. And she'd be right! She's also the picture for the link to the video. Fun stuff! This makes the second time this year I've gotten on the news. Last year, I was in the paper twice for knitting and 5 times for charity fundraisers. I need an entourage. Or at least a decent haircut.