Friday, May 01, 2015

And none of it was yarn

I had this whole entry planned out in my head--it was called "and half of it was yarn" and it was all about the last few days. The things I had in mind were: Some new yarn I bought, progress on the shrug, my answer to a question proposed for a luncheon I was invited to ("bring an item from your shelf or wall and be prepared to share why it is treasured with the group") and My velcro project.

Sadly, I feel like the day is waning and dinner must be made soon, so I'm going to table three of those and just go with the last one.

I run. I would say avidly, but not um expertly. Let's call me an advanced beginner. And when I run, I like to have my gear: my fitbit, my road id, my heart rate monitor, my ipod, and my phone. I should figure out how to combine the ipod and the phone, but that's neither here nor there. Lately, I've been leaving my phone behind because while I can hang everything else off my body, I have no solution for my phone. I have an armband and while I feel like my arms are flabby, they must in actuality be tiny because I can strap that thing on all the way to the end and it still slides off my arm. As you can see, the sticky part of the velcro is only at the end, so if you pull it far enough, there isn't soft stuff for it to hang on to.

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Anyway, today, I learned that sometimes you need your phone, even if it is just to feel safe. You see Every time I run or walk, I notice people who didn't learn to drive the way I did. I learned--stop before the crosswalk (marked or not), look for pedestrians and bikes, proceed into intersection as needed to see cars coming. I learned to do the same for crossing your sidewalk pulling into or out of your driveway or any parking lots---LOOK for pedestrians or bikes on the sidewalks. Every day though, I see multiple incidents of:

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(and yes, I realize that as a pedestrian, I look like I'm pretty far away, but she never ever stopped before rolling into the crosswalk AND she was on her phone the entire time--I'm not suggesting she wait for me but really--she could have seen traffic coming from behind the crosswalk. I was a little afraid taking this until I realized she too was on her phone-- I don't think she ever saw me--despite my getting to the corner as she pulled out.)

I didn't pick on this ONE person, this was just the first of no less than 6 incidents I saw just like this on my 1/3 mile walk to get my girls from school. 6. And it makes me mad. Today I hollered at one while I was running (earlier in the day than the picture I took), he hollered back and we ended up having a screaming match. So... while I have vowed not to ever let another ahem bad driver ahem make me lose my cool so effectively, I also decided maybe I had better start carrying my phone every time I run. Which means--time to make the armband fit my scrawny (and yet oddly flabby) chicken wings.

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I'm hoping this works, but I'm thinking I might need even longer velcro.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Indigo cones is a vest!

When I last left you the Indigo cones needed sides. And now--it has them! Witness:

and

I was kind of dreading the sides, because the directions looked a little complicated. I mean how was this going to work? Then I got most of the right side done (really fast because there aren't a lot of stitches compared to when you do the whole thing at once) but I wasn't sure if I had marked the pattern when I finished a chart repeat or not. It took me a whole day to decide that I had indeed marked it and had only done 2 chart repeats and needed a third. Then the decreases looked tricky--they weren't and suddenly the right side was done! The left side went much quicker. Now it only needs sleeves! Although I have a favorite sock that needs some darning and I need to figure out if I have the right DPNS or a smaller circular to do the sleeves on. Which requires me finding either my needle gauge or my notes to determine what size needles I'm using again. (THIS is why I need to document). At any rate, I have a month before the graduation I want to wear it to (REALLY??? I can't believe my baby nephew is GRADUATING from high school!!!).

Also, I slipped it on and in it's pre-blocked stage it fits. No pictures of that though because as I write this, I'm still in my jammies. I blame the snow (just very thick flurries).

Of course it wasn't in time for the "spring" banquet but I managed in my store bought shrug, Christmas dress, brand new shoes, and vintage purse. Behold:

And yes, I am wearing hose. a) If Princess Kate can so can I and b) it is COLD in Michigan.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

spring break

One might start to wonder lots of things when a knitting blogger takes an unexpected hiatus. Specifically one might start to wonder what said knitter has been up to and if the time away from writing about projects has increased time spent actually working on projects, or if the knitter just spent hours and hours playing 2048. Well dear reader, wonder no longer.

Really the hiatus had to do more with Spring break than anything else. Children (even tween children) underfoot all day does sort of put a damper on knitting, playing ridiculously addictive games and basically anything else that is not directly related to surviving the day. Children it seems demand meals at regular intervals, and the meals must be not the same meal as the day before. In other words, tacos for dinner means no one wants tacos for lunch the next day. SIGH I say!

We also did not travel, meaning that there was no car knitting to books things forward. Instead we stayed home, and over break we volunteered 8 hours at our local butterfly garden. We also slept late, and visited with local friends. And I actually did spend some time playing 2048 and actually WON by getting the 2048 tile. The game suggested a new goal, but honestly, my desire to play has been easily cut by three quarters.

But I did also knit, just not as much as one would expect.

Indigo cones is moving along nicely. I have finished the back, and am about to start the right side. It is clear though that I will not finish it in time for the dinner, and it will most likely be too cold anyway. Now I am aiming for may when I have not one but 2 semi-formal events where such a garment will work well.

Shrug

Besides doesn't it look more like a May outfit? Ok, maybe where you are it looks like an April thing, but 2 days ago there was snow on the ground here. And for Friday's dinner--it might be in the upper 40s. So May it is!

I also did manage to get the sock going and knit halfway up the foot. Although I don't have a picture. Trust me, more knitting in public. Also it helped with the very palatable tension one picks up on when one watches a middle school talent competition.

But of course it hasn't been all knitting. I made a batch of mango jam, watched the power company take out 4 trees in my yard, and hung out with the children. One of our days, we treated ourselves to TV dinners (we were at the store for something else--and BONUS tv dinners=easy lunch). My choice was something different than I usually get. I was so disappointed with the difference between the box picture and the actual, I took a picture.
tacos

Moral of this story--a good food stylist will get you at least one sale. good food might get you repeat business.

Friday, March 20, 2015

2048, shrug and a sock

This week, while waiting at the eye doctor, one of my daughters introduced me to the game 2048 , which should actually serve as a cautionary tale of how you should always have emergency knitting or books because man am I ever addicted to that game. Seriously. As a consequence (a sad consequence), I really didn't get much of anything done this week. It feels like Indigo Cones is going so so slow. I think in part because the rows are SO. FREAKING. LONG.

So, I have completed 3 sections of the chart--you do 5 before starting the sleeves. And I was thinking I might actually get this done in time for the banquet that I THOUGHT might be a month away.

Hear that? The sound of fate laughing at me?

Usually this banquet is towards the end of April, and the weather is warmish, hence the shrug. I didn't look too close at the calendar or I would have realized that when I am anticipating the banquet, my husband (aka the reason we go to the banquet) is out of town. He thought it was the week before--when my mom would be visiting (hey come visit AND babysit). BUT then he got an e-mail and the banquet is actually April 10 instead of the 24 like I was anticipating (or the 17th like he was anticipating). Now I'm realizing 2 things: 1) I'm probably not going to finish this in time. 2) even if I did, it will probably still be too cold.

Oh well--I'll just have to find an excuse to wear it anyway.

Knitting in Public

I know lots of people knit in public, and I tend to occasionally bring a sock here and there. I had two opportunities to knit while "chaperoning" an academic competition my girls were involved in. I toyed with bringing the shrug and then realized that even though the lace pattern is simple enough for TV knitting, that you don't much done if you have to stop, figure out where you are, and then start only to be interrupted 2 or 3 stitches later. So sock it was! The first week, I didn't get the sock out at all--instead ended up chatting with the other chaperones. The second week, I got out the sock and had several middle school girls surrounding me asking about my knitting. And then realizing that I forgot to bring the yarn I was switching to.

The girls were funny though because they all told me about people they knew that knit, asked me what I was knitting, asked who it was for, exclaimed over the yarn. Well, everyone except my children, who seemed to think I was knitting solely to embarrass them.

You see I started a sock out of the two skeins of leftover sock yarn from making socks for my two daughters. I thought I'd do heels and toes from the skein with the least yarn, and the rest from the skein with the most yarn. But then I didn't know if my sock was wide enough, and I didn't want to be THAT chaperone who took off her shoes and tried on her sock. So I stopped, put it away, vowed to work out the issues and then Tuesday when I have to go and sit for a few hours during the final meet, I'll work on it more. My girls will really be mortified if I am sitting in the auditorium (since I shouldn't have to chaperone) knitting.

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So, I need to try on the sock, and start the blue. Before Tuesday. Better stop playing 2048. Except I got up to 512 and almost to 1024.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Indigo cones in progress

Before I get into the knitting portion of this entry, I'd like to take a minute to talk about technology. Specifically about how on some levels I need more and better and faster like yesterday! and how on other levels, why can't things just stay the same.

In essence my browser of choice is safari. In fact an old version of safari (version 5.1.10). And lately my sites aren't playing nice with it. It started out as gmail telling me it wasn't supported. Then Facebook wouldn't let me see notifications unless I was on MY page rather than the feed page. Then that went away and basically I go to some random persons page to see my notifications. Then yahoo mail yesterday started not letting me reply or forward message and forget about composing a new one. Flickr is flakey, but you know--as much as I say I like flickr better than instagram, I gotta admit flickr has always been flakey for me. I'd upgrade--I really would. But to upgrade safari, you have to upgrade your operating system. And the person I share the desktop with isn't yet convinced we need to do that.

I guess that's my long way of saying I'll probably start using chrome instead.

And just so you don't think I'm total luddite--yesterday I figured out how to online order from Panera and I swear angels sang. In fact, you know what I want? I want to be able to order everything online and have it brought to me by drones, instantly. I might just be feeling a little more on the introverted side today.

Onward!

This has kind of been a crap week for me. Last Thursday I started massively cleaning the house so the girls could have three of their nearest and dearest friends over for a sleepover. This involved me getting rid of lots of stuff too--mostly paper I'd let pile up. It did not however, leave me time to knit. I did however, make time to finish a pair of PJ pants (that ended up being too large because elastic is like that I guess) that I've been meaning to finish for well over a month. While I was doing that I thought--OH hey wouldn't THAT make a great treat bag after a sleepover--everyone has matching PJ pants? Then I slapped myself. Still, it lurks there for maybe next year's birthday sleepover.

And I'd pull it off by getting the majority of the work done ahead of time--saving elastic and hemming for later--then measure for elastic and waist, send kids down to watch a movie and voila! PJS by bedtime. Most guests I could eyeball for initial size based on my two girls. It could work! Yeah I just slapped myself again.

So, then the sleepover, then the time change, then a professional day off of school and I was totally wiped out. I think I knit a grand total of four rows on my shrug over 5 days. Most of those during the sleepover.

And then Tuesday I started to feel like I was getting a cold. I knew I needed to sit and rest instead of the other stuff I usually do during the day. And I tried to knit, and managed a row or two before it just was clear that stuffy head, achy body meant read instead of knit.

And then Tuesday night, or rather the wee hours of Wednesday it became clear one daughter was not going to school Wednesday. But I felt better. So Wednesday I stayed home, watched way more TV than I ever do, since sleep and watch tv was all my daughter was doing. And as a consequence I got something like 12 rows knit yesterday!

Indigo cones

It still has a ways to go, but I feel like it is coming along. I also feel like it might be too big. But maybe not. Anyway, now I've got everyone back in school, and so I'm sure my knitting time will go back to the one to two rows a night version.

Monday, March 02, 2015

shrug in progress

This week I screwed up my courage and cast on for my Indigo cones. And got as far as this:
DSCN4479 Do you see it as white? Maybe blue?

Not because it is hard, or because I hate the pattern or the yarn, just because that is a LOT of stitches. In fact I love the yarn. It is a cotton linen blend that I think smells really fresh and springy.

I also started my annual volunteer stint at the local butterfly house. The first day is always a day with no visitors--and really just butterfly care. Because I knew it would be boring (no people, 12 butterflies--as many had not emerged) I wanted to bring my knitting in case I got bored. Because there is a strict no plant material rule, I opted not to bring my Indigo cones. Instead I decided to start a sock in bright colors that would match the dayglo fluorescent green volunteer shirt. I don't know how much I'll work on it--as I am loving the shrug and honestly I'll never be that bored volunteering again (people + more butterflies= more work). We'll see. I may bring it to get a picture today. In the meantime, I did manage to photograph one of the few butterflies.

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My goal between now and the end of butterflies is to figure out how to upload pictures from my desktop computer (where my good camera downloads) to my Instagram account. And honestly right now I'm adding many many things on my treatise on why flickr is better than instagram.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Indigo cones

I had set as my goal this year to write at least once a week, mainly so I could keep things updated and moving along. February has been a real struggle for me this year. I'm not sure if it was SAD, full on depression, the super cold winter, or some combination. I wasn't really feeling right with no energy not really wanting to get out of bed, not really wanting to move much after that and feeling like every day I was pushing myself really hard just for the basics. I know that I have a very supportive network of friends and family who would do so much for me to help. But honestly, I didn't know what help to ask for, so I just pushed on telling myself that if I still felt this bad in March, I'd go see someone. I'm gradually feeling better. Every day I feel a tiny bit more like myself, which is good.

We also had a huge chunk of time where for one reason or another (PD day, President's day wind chill day and wind chill delay) where the children were home and yet I had to work. This is so rare, the children did not even know how to deal with it--so the feeling like running through quicksand got ramped up 10 notches.

Because I really suspect that a huge part of this was the unseasonable cold we are having (really--the average high for today is 27F, the record low (set in 2003--how did I not remember that--I was hugely pregnant) was -4F and today is forecasted to be 14F Also side note, I mentioned this was the coldest February I could remember and someone tried to argue that LAST February was even colder. Whatever. We are 6 heating degree days higher than we were at this point last year so pbbbbt.), I decided to start knitting for spring. Specifically, I started knitting Indigo Cones in white Creative focus linen. Although I bought it at a much higher price before it was discontinued. The goal is to have this done by April so I can wear one of my springier dresses to my husband's annual work dinner. Because every year about a week before I think--MAN if I only had a shrug or something I could wear this sleeveless dress but it is WAY too cold to go without.

It may actually take that long to make it.

I started with a swatch, which is a good way to start with anything you'd like to actually fit. The gauge section says that the suggested needle size (which is where I usually start on my swatch) is a US 9 for the stockinet and pattern, and a US 6 for the rib. So, I did a big swatch and washed it and I'm really close on the stockinette and a little loose on the pattern but WAY off on the rib.

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So I redid a smaller swatch on a US size 4 and it was STILLL too big. Then I swatched it on a US 3 and I am STILL too loose. However, I'm pretty close. Close enough that I feel like it will work. So, I have cast on, and started the first row (and then miscounted, ripped out and started again). Hopefully it can start to move along from here and I'll have more pictures to show off later.