Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New Arrivals

So I've been a little bit busy the past few days being a new mom and all. Want to see my babies? I've had them for three days, and they appear to be under a week old. I found them laying on the ground when I was out walking. Their nest had fallen and was in pieces, their brothers and sisters were all around them, but these guys were the only survivors. So I brought them home with me.

It's amazing how much they have changed in the past three days. When I brought them home they were weak little babies with no feathers, only fuzz. Now they are stronger and much louder. They started getting feathers yesterday and by the time I woke up this morning, they somehow had a full-out mohawk. I was very surprised that they both lived through the first night and I woke up and fed them every 3 hours to make sure they were okay. They are eating cut up milliworms and wax worms and flies when they get into the house, and feeding happens about every 45 minutes. They should be old and strong enough to fly within 2 long as the cat doesn't find them. They're living in the screened-in porch right now and we're trying to keep the cat and dog out until they fledge. I think they are sparrows, but I have a hard time telling a moose from a mouse. Anyone think they are something else?

So that's what I've been doing for the past few days. Hopefully I can get a babysitter so I can come to knit-night on thursday.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Rock 'em Sock 'em Grandmas

So you've probably noticed the lack of real knitting related posts lately. I've just had a lot going on, and none of it was knitting.
Firstly, I went to see the Foo Fighters at Conseco with Kieran on the 23rd. That was 5 different levels of awesome. Dave Grohl (lead singer and future baby's daddy) was hilarious...I give this concert a 9, which places with between Green Day's American Idiot tour and Nickelback's Far Side of a Bullet tour. In other words, it kicked ass.

Kieran and I spent the rest of the day doing touristy things as discovering downtown Indianapolis is something people from New Zealand don't frequently do. We went to the Indiana state museum where we got in as volunteers but roamed the museum for the majority of our time. I figured I'd let him do the last few displays by himself and I would knit a bit so we wouldn't be freeloading in the name of war-time knitting circles and he came over and said he was going to knit with me. I kinda assumed he would watch and talk for a few minutes, but he picked up one of those garter stitch strips and started knitting! Totally wasn't expecting that. Was very impressed. Wished he were single. Moving on.

As for today's bizarre blog title, here it goes. On Thursday, on my way to knit night, my mom called and asked if I wanted to go to Greenfield with her to see my grandma...the one we don't like. She's a little (scratch that- alot) on the looney side and was kicked out of her nursing home about a month ago for walking around with no clothes on. Multiple times. I really hope whatever genes those are were not passed on to me. So, we got her all moved in to the new, higher security nursing home in the special Alheimer's ward (she doesn't have alheimers, but this is the only thing we could do for her that didn't involve padded walls, other nursing homes won't take her). By the time I got home, my mom had recieved the call from the nursing home saying that my grandma had gotten lost in the ward (it's a hallway. just one hallway) and gotten into a fistfight with another resident. Mind you, these rock 'em sock 'em grandmas are in their late 80's, and after my grandma threw the punch knocking the other lady over into her tv, my grandma fell into the wall behind her because she has no sense of balance. So my grandma, who is the ultimate hypochondriac, is screaming bloody murder because she has scratched her arm against the wall and demands to be taken to the hospital. There they do thousands of dollars worth of tests and send her home with a bottle of Neosporin. Talk about DRAMA. Normally I would feel like I should visit her in the hospital or something, but this occurs every other week and she wouldn't remember five minutes after I left.

As far as knitting goes, that's been significantly less eventful. I got a custom scarf order (yay!) from my anonymous poster from a post I did mid-january. It's charcoal and grey alpaca which I will be spinning myself in order to destash the roving pile and avoid buying more alpaca yarn. So far the one skien I have spun up is quite bulky and I am knitting a simple stripe pattern on size 11's. I tried knitting entrelac with it, but after 3 rows it was clear I was going to need another 5 alpacas to finish the scarf. If you haven't spun alpaca before, do so now. It's the easiest fiber to spin and it goes very quickly. Here are some pictures of the roving and such.

As far as current projects go, my red tweed CPH is becoming un-fun as the second sleeve is being knit. My goal is to finish that by Thursday so I can bring something I actually want to knit to knit-night, or another friggin' lizard ridge square. Here's a pic of the progress...
That's about it for now. I'm teaching a knitting class in a few hours and should probably put together a bunch of old needles for people who don't have the right size (size 8, not 8 mm. Not that hard)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tencel: 1, Paige: 0

I finally worked up the nerve to attack the small ball of tencel that was a freebie at Franklin, and I have to say, it kicked my ass. After about an hour I finally came up with about 30 yards of bleh (that's a noun and an adjective combined) and almost cried. I have failed at spinning tencel, twice. It just wasn't an enjoyable experience, but what else is a spinster to do?

So to make up for my bad spinning, I plied it with pink cotton thread and my favorite addition, itty bitty crystals left over from Mother's Day Present 2006, or 2005, can't be sure. Here's a deceptively pretty shot of it in my hand...

So why exactly am I spinning tencel at 2 in the morning?

Because my knitting mojo is on vacation. I blame this on my mother ('s a decent explantation) who has taken all the knitting out of my room and put it the back of a large closet where it cannot be seen by anyone looking at the house. Unfortunately, I can't find it either. I did search for it for quite a while (WHERE THE H3!! did 11 knitting projects go?!) and by the time I found a few of them, I'd lost my mojo. I am no longer able to wake up surrounded by a nearly completed Lizard Ridge, or that damn cardigan that has been taunting me since I decided to start over on the sleeves.

I'm just not in the mood to knit anything...and it blows. Maybe tomorrow night's knit night will help-provided I'm not waiting on tables through it all.

I will try to finish the 21st piece of the Lizard Ridge tonight, with the help of the movie the neighbor gave me to watch. I think it's called "The Graduate", anyone ever heard of it?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My Hopes, My Dreams, My Frogpond

So, my first attempt at designing a lace cardigan has failed. Of course I had to finish it, block it and sew it all together to figure this out. The body could fit a rhino and the sleeves fit...nothing. So here it is, the point when I realized the cardigan I have worked on since Spring Break is a lost cause. That, and a small collection of frogs.
Knitting has, however, managed to teach me that there is always a silver lining no matter how dark the cloud, and I have found a loophole on the "no new projects" rule. It's not a NEW project, is it? I'm starting over (Actually I've already finished the hood and am knitting on the yoke) and it's going to be fun! I've used this formula before and not even I can screw it up. Only a few more weeks and I have a neutral colored, perfectly functional hoodie. I'm kind of excited! Since I haven't started a new project in a while, this is the closest I've come to the "new sparkly project" in months...and it's AWESOME! So I'm going to go work on it a little more...I think it's about time for Scrubs reruns. And now, a glamour shot of Tubby Custard.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lizard Ridge Q&A (aka Blocking with Balls)

It seems like everytime the Lizard Ridge goes out in public, it is greeted with lots of touching and even more questions. I'm finally taking the time to answer then.

How many squares are you making?

Let me first say I have elongated each "square" by 1/4. So each of my squares is really 1.25 squares long. The original pattern calls for the blanket to be 6 by 4 normal sized squares, and I will be making a much larger blanket by making it 5 by 5 with elongated squares. That means I will be making 25 instead of 24, but will end up with a significantly larger blanket.

How much does it cost to make a Lizard Ridge?

Entirely too much. I really need to win the lottery to dig myself out of a lizard-ridge sized financial hole. I will probably buy another skien or two of Cascade 220 to make the border, depending on the color I chose. I currently have a skien of royal blue and half a skien of purple. I will probably assemble it with purple and do a royal blue border. But I won't know for sure until I get there. To really answer your question, about $200.

Do you have a favorite square?

I could give you a sentimental answer and an actual answer. My favorite square will likely be the last one, seeing as I am quickly growing tired of short rows and buying Kureyon. My most sentimental square is made from the yarn my brother bought me for my birthday. It's really very beautiful. He did well.

How far in are you?

I am working on sqaure 20/25. I'm getting close...

How and when do you block the squares?

This part makes people nervous when I tell them, so I just took a picture of the last square during the blocking process.

I block them directly with an iron on the "cotton" setting so it's extra hot, extra steamy (this is starting to sound like a KY Jelly commercial) and gets done quickly. I'm not one of those people who spent more time blocking it than they do knitting it. I'm not waiting until the end to block, I typically block once a week, or after I get about 4 squares waiting for their chance to lie flat. Flat squares are much easier to drag to yarn stores to match up colors with.

How are you putting it together?

I will be crocheting the sqaures together with cascade 220 leftovers in a crochet slip stitch. This is nice and discreet and very sturdy. If you want to join in on the magic of assembly, please let me know. I'm totally up for a finishing party. I will bring tequila.

After it's all together I will do some sort of crocheted shell stitch for a border. That should be fairly simple and *fingers crossed* elegant and not overwhelming.

Any advice for people making their own?

Yes! If you haven't started already, you can very likely get 6 repeats out of one skien of Kureyon and not the 4 that the pattern calls for. Save yarn, save money and do long squares, because scrap squares really aren't all that pretty.

If you aren't one for finishing, knit it in strips. If you do this, learn to knit backwards, turning it won't be fun.

Make good friends with your LYS owner. Take them cookies and alcoholic beverages in hopes of getting discounts on Kureyon.

If you have any questions about the Lizard Ridge that went unanswered, leave a comment and I will respond in the next blog entry!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Just stuff

So I've been cleaning my room (packing up stuff for Goodwill, unpacking stuff from Purdue, rinse and repeat) pretty much all day so I thought I would take a blog break.
For those of you who haven't seen it, I cut off 14 inches of hair. I still don't have a decent picture though, so I'll keep working on that. It's really liberating...

I also have the first 18/25 squares done, which means I'm on the home stretch- at least on the knitting part. Not overly excited about finishing it all and crocheting the border, but that's just part of the blanket. Oh well, I think someone will be excited to help me finish it! She is so goofy, I was turning on the camera to take a picture of the squares all neatly laid out on the floor and she plopped down right in the middle for a belly rub. Here's another picture of the blanket, minus the dog.

I'm getting the new project itch worse than ever, and knitting dozens of baby hats for my cousin isn't helping. All of my stashed sweater yarn is calling my last check in I have the next 7 sweaters worth of yarn stashed....and I can't decide what to knit next! Ahhh! Whatever I decide, it will have to wait until 5 more projects are finished and/or the opening ceremonies of the olympics. I'm planning on a 17 day hoodie, much like the PoCo hoodie made with the cascade yarn that I can't stop wearing.
Okay- back to cleaning!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I should be studying/packing

I should be doing things other than snacking and blogging, mostly because I am taking a final tomorrow and then moving back to Indianapolis immediately afterwards. Well, not immediately, I'm going to Borders to return the $45 textbooks that we read 5 pages of and buy books I will actually read. I'm quite excited about that. I do need to pack up my appartment rather soon, so I can find the books I am supposed to have read by now. Bleh. Damn you Postcolonial Literature and your piles of reading!

On a more knitting related note, I finished Nathalie's scarf, the blue linen one. It remarkably took only a little more than a skien of yarn (about 200 yards) for a rather long, wide (after being blocked of course) scarf. (Anyone want most of a skien of Rowan Damask?) I'm really happy with how it turned out, and I'm even happier that I already dropped that and the Tequila Sunrise scarf off. Since neither recipients were in their offices, I had to be the knitting fairy and leave them with a nice little note. I really hope they like them. It feels great to have them done.

I started the 16th lizard ridge square after stocking up on Kureyon (had a 20% off card so I bought 7) and am almost halfway through. I might try to put my Lizard Ridge in the State Fair- everyone who has seen it so far says I should enter it. *Fingers crossed!* Hopefully the promised free yarn will come (so far it has not, I'm starting to think that lady forgot she promised me free yarn) and if that comes, I should be able to not buy anymore Kureyon and make an oversized blanket with the yarn I have and scraps I soon will have. Updates soon! I'm really truckin' to get this beast done and in the fair! That and I promised myself no more projects until the total count is under 5- I've got a ways to go.
Well- back to packing. I felt like I had to announce that I actually finished something.
Bonus for Facebookers: If you go to my facebook profile and see my latest album (Gay Old Time in Chicago) then you can see my Gay Pride Potholder! Seriously- what else do you do with rainbow cotton?