Sunday, February 22, 2009

Random Boyness

A couple hours in traffic yesterday with a few of the boys and we talked about all kinds of silly things. I didn't have all the boys so we were able to avoid all the elbow room fights and chat. As the conversation turned to TV and such...

11 year old: "Mommy is going to leave Daddy to go be Hugh Laurie's maid."

15 year old: "Yeah right... you know how much mom likes to clean."

So glad to know he's got my back. :^/

Friday, February 20, 2009

Little by Little

So in the middle of an especially crumby day last week, I got a phone call from my LYS informing me that they had received their much awaited shipment of Malabrigo Sock yarn! Fortunately, I was in the car and only a few minutes away so I swung by and got to search through the newly arrived boxes full of every color! I picked out a couple for me and one for a friend.

Malabrigo Sock
Malabrigo Sock
Malabrigo Sock

But over the last week, I've slipped by there just a few more times.

Malabrigo Sock
Malabrigo Sock
Malabrigo Sock

(Top to bottom: Boticelli Red, Stone Chat, Indiecita, Turner, Persia, & Abril. The first one is yours Julie... it's richer and more vibrant than it appears.)

I know from working with it on my Ene's Scarf that the yarn is amazing so I just couldn't help myself. Speaking of which, here's my progress on the border.

Ene's Scarf

Happy weekend everyone!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

When ADD Strikes...

I'm actually not entirely comfortable with the term ADD because it implies a fault or disorder. In reality, most situations in life are just too dull to hold the attention of our active minds. We need stimulation... in some form or another (and no, I'm not talking economic... although I could say plenty about that too). Now a couple of my sons have the "H" factor in the equation so they're always looking for physical stimulation in the form of sports, somersaults in the living room, and antagonizing their brothers until a good ol' wrestling match ensues.

I don't have that "H" factor though. Nah... I'm pretty good here on the couch for, well, more than I care to admit. But I do need to feed my brain. With everything going on around here, that's usually not a problem. But some days... well some days I need a little more entertainment and I might redesign my blog by poking around in html templates that I have no busy messing with but provides me with hours of stimulation while I attempt to change a single margin through trial and error.


Now one of the worst things that can happen to me, is to end up with a whole day to just relax. That happened last week and so I poked through the several knitting projects thinking I was going to finish a sweater or pair of socks (not that I'm even close to either of these but I'm not very realistic either). But nothing was good enough. What I really wanted to do was cast on 375 stitches using an unfamiliar cast-on for a new shawl.

Ene's Scarf

So I started Ene's Scarf from Scarf Style with some Malabrigo Sock yarn in Alcaucil. Interestingly enough, Alcaucil is Spanish for artichoke... which seems odd for a blackish yarn. But I've noticed when it's in the right light, it most definitely has some greenish undertones. It's really beautiful.

Anyway, I cast on in groups of 25 which were counted and recounted consistently. In the (very lengthy) process I learned that my ability to count to 25 is consistently superb. However, my ability to count to 15 (the number of groups of 25 I needed to equal 375 stitches) needs improvement.

I'm glad I stuck with it though because I'm really enjoying this pattern. It's a triangular shawl, but knit from the outside in towards the center neck so each row gets a tiny bit shorter!


One of my great ADD treats occurred a couple of weeks ago when The Loopy Ewe announced that they had put together a special Valentine's Day kit that was going to posted in their "Sneak-Up" that week. It was a beautiful kit that included a beautiful skein of specially dyed red Tempted Yarns sock yarn, an adorable project bag from 3AM Enhancements, a pattern, and a measuring tape. What's not to love about a special, limited edition kit? Forget whether or not I actually needed anything included, let me assure you... I needed this kit.

And... all I had to do to get one, was stay near the computer and refresh the "What's New" page at The Loopy Ewe every so often (5-15 minutes) throughout the day until it came up! Then snag one as quickly as possible and check out before they sold out. (Things fly off the shelf at TLE!) Weeeeee!

But it was worth it...

Loopy Ewe Valentines Kit

Don't you think? :-)

Happy Valentines Day Friends!

Friday, February 13, 2009

I get no respect.

You know what happens when a grumpy mommy comes downstairs with a puffy sinus infected face and angrily informs her 5 sons that her brain is going to explode if she's hears another sound so they'd better be quiet as mice OR ELSE!?!?!?

Nothing. Nothing at all.

I'd go back to bed but somebody already spilt soda in my room. But of course it wasn't his fault.

My son who was supposed to put the towels in the dryer last night, forgot to turn it on so I had to dry myself off with a hand towel after my shower. (And he's the smart one.)

I want to go get season one of LOST because I have some serious conspiracy detective work to do but I don't want to drive anywhere. Lucky for me, #4 son has recorded weeks worth of his recently discovered new fave, Star Trek.


Thursday, February 05, 2009

FO: Flower Basket Shawl

First I want to thank all of you for your kind words about Amelia. Our weather has turned cool and rainy (yes! rainy!) so I will even get to wear it soon.

A couple of you mentioned an interest in knitting it as well... and I think you should! Just fyi, I knit a 34" which would be zero ease for me without any modifications. I also knit to gauge! With blocking I have a perfect fit... although I wouldn't mind it a bit longer. But that's just my personal preference. If you consider knitting Amelia, I would definitely go with either zero or some positive ease for a good fit. I don't think you could go wrong if you knit it a bit bigger, but any smaller and, depending on your shape, you might run into some pulling and snugness. Just my 2 cents... which is about all it's worth.

Anyway, I did block my sister's finally finished Flower Basket Shawl

Flower Basket Shawl

Flower Basket Shawl

And am thrilled with the simple elegance of the pattern and the luxury of the yarn that never lets me down, Handmaiden Sea Silk. This time in "Straw"

Sea Silk makes anything luxurious and I can imagine using this pattern again in the future. I saw a larger one in a yarn store once that was knit in autumn colors with a strand of sock yarn and a strand of fine cashmere held together. It was incredibly soft and I came really close to indulging in the fibers to knit my own, but I would then need a front porch to rest on while I gazed at the sunset or changing leaves with it draped casually around my shoulders. Without the front porch, it would really be, well, only a shawl.

Unfortunately, DH is not quite on board with my train of thought here so I cast on for another shawl in the meantime with some Malabrigo sock yarn. The counting for this one is killing me, so I'm gonna wait for pictures until I'm sure I've got something close to a shawl happening on my needles.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

An Eye for Photography...

I don't have it.

I'm not a photographer. As a matter of fact, I struggled through both high school and college photography with barely a C. For a (mostly) straight A student this was pretty humbling. I just never had an eye for it.

I was a graphic design major so I took my share of art classes ranging from drawing to print-making. I worked hard and was rewarded with good grades. I took a typography class in which I had to write words in specified fonts, at a specified size (2-3"), without any rulers or tracing. The teacher would note every poorly proportioned serif or imperfect line so we could improve our lettering the next time. Each word was drafted then re-done at least 3 times before ultimately being done freehand in ink. I got an A- in that class.

I took life drawing on Monday nights for a semester... complete with nude models. (And just for reference, when I say nude model, think Will Farrell on SNL... not centerfold. Ever.) I have never been able to draw people. But I tried.. worked hard... and again... got a good grade.

Color theory, painting, printing... A's. Pre-computer-age color separation prep work which required the width of every line to be measured by points and picas... A. But photography was always my nemesis.

All that to say, I still can't take a decent picture. I often don't blog because I forgot to take a picture during the right daylight hours and I don't like the effect of the flash on yarn. Or maybe I can't find a good location... or really know what a good location would be. So... I can either not blog at all... or just put up the crumby pics I managed to snap. Then when I consider the fact that even my best pictures are lousy compared to others... and there's no imminent hope of my pictures improving any time soon... I'll just give you what I got for the sake of continued communication. Deal? Good.

I've been working some on my Noro Silk Garden Clapotis.


Knitting with Noro is such a tactile experience. Not only do you get the amusement of the color changes but the texture is so rich and varied as well. It was really slow going until I ditched all the stitch markers except the first and last ones. I really think it's going twice as fast without them... and it's really just a simple six stitch count: k, k, k, kbl, k, kbl... with changes only at the beginning and end. Piece of cake.

I'm also toying around with a possible new sweater...


Can you guess what it is? I mean, it is February after all. I'm just not sure that the style is for me, but this Dream in Color yarn is perfect for the pattern. It's hard to see in, well, any light really, but the blue has some subtle color variations tapping into some purples as well.

I guess it will just depend on my mood.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

FO: Amelia

Sorry these aren't the best pictures, but the yarn is really hard to photograph... and I didn't know if I'd have a chance tomorrow to try for some better outdoor ones. Since patience is not one of my personal virtues, I'm just gonna give you what I got. We'll call it... the bathroom series.




Amelia by Laura Chau from the winter Knitty
Miss Babs Yowza in "Obsidian"

I knit the size 34 without any major modifications.

Soft, snuggly and wonderful. I'm very pleased. :-)