Thursday, May 31, 2007

Big Dummy

I jammed my thumb while closing the windows on the porch last night. I don't think it's broken; it's probably just sprained or strained. I used a little too much force upward to make sure the window closed, and wow, did it hurt! I have pretty good range of motion. It's odd what hurts: putting the lid on a Tupperware cup, pulling up a zipper, when I try to lean on that hand while putting together ds's train track on the floor. It does NOT hurt when knitting. This is great news because I've started a third pair of socks. I'm over a third of the way through the foot of the feather-and-fan pair, and halfway through the cuff of the second monkey. I was flipping through my summer IK and decided to try the toe-up method featured in this issue. I'm doing them toe-up and two at once. I did the first step for each sock on dpns, then slipped them to my 32" size 1 circular, and I'm really enjoying them. The pattern calls for a 2x2 rib once you get to the patterned part, but I'm going to do that rib as a baby cable. These are just going to be footies to wear around the house. I think anyway. We'll have to see how far the yarn takes me. I am using Lang Jawoll Cotton Jacquard in a brown/grey/teal colorway.

Now for a few pictures. This is what I'll call an heirloom rose. It's off a start from a rose my mom brought up from our house where I grew up and I think it may have come from the farm where she grew up. It only blooms once, but it is just covered in blooms. It has that old-fashioned rose scent. I love the way it has taken over this fence. Anyway here is another view. The bush inside the fence is an old-fashioned lilac. It was a disappointment this year. I thought its buds were bitten by the late freeze, but then no, they looked like they would open. Then we got a long dry and hot spell and the buds dried up. *sigh* The roses don't appear to be affected by either the freeze (though I did have to cut them back severely this spring) or the dry spell. This red one, Showbiz, always looks great and does well until it gets hit with black spot. This yellow one is Sunflare and though it doesn't look like much now, you can see it is loaded with buds. The last pic is the first bloom of Pretty Lady. She will be covered with blooms shortly too.
I can't believe I almost forgot to show off my baby bluebirds! This is them on Monday afternoon. I haven't checked on them since, but momma bluebird has been busy in and out of the box keeping them fed.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

*grumble* Damn camera! *grumble*

I didn't think it would take us this long to decide on a new digital camera. Sorry about the lack of updates. I'm *this* close to buying a $20 kids' camera for myself just so I can take pics for my blog. There are some pics of my roses on the camera disk that the computer won't read, but dh has to recover them using the laptop, so any updates just have to wait. I finished the monkey sock from the previous update and I'm about four repeats through the cuff of the second one. (Imagine pictures here. That's all you're going to get for a while. *sigh*)

I also knit a feather-and-fan sock through the cuff, heel, and gusset only to discover that it wouldn't go over my heel. So it's been frogged, the yarn went in time out for a day and a half, and then I cast it on again using bigger needles. I really like this pattern. It's easy, it's pretty, and it's going really fast on the bigger needles. *grin* I'm almost done with the heel flap now. The yarn is Tofutsies in a pink, turquoise, green colorway. I've been trying to figure out of what it reminds me. I think of childhood candy whenever I look at it. Sweetarts, maybe? I posted the yarn in a previous post so you can go look at it and tell me what you think, though the colors don't show as well in the skein. (Ooops. I posted the yarn on the Sybermoms Stash KAL blog, not this one. Here's a link to that entry.) When I was knitting it on the smaller needles, the turquoise was pooling more so it looked mostly blue. This redo is pooling the green more. It looks a lot different, but I still like it.

I have made NO progress on anything else. It doesn't help that my other projects are on BIG needles and I do NOT like working with BIG needles (i.e. 11s and 19s). I've been trying to teach myself to throw in the style of the Yarn Harlot. Someone (I can't remember which blogger now) had video of the Harlot on her blog. She was so amazed at the speed that she slowed it down and narrated how she thinks Stephanie achieves such speed. Anyway, I can't do it and it's frustrating. I like my method even if it means I have to take breaks now and then for the tendinitis to calm down. (I generally can't manage more than a day or two without knitting, so it doesn't get a whole lot of opportunity to calm down.)

I would like to make the sweater on the cover of the Summer Interweave Knits, but with short sleeves. I have 7 skeins of artyarns supermerino so I think I would probably have enough if I start the sleeves right below the yoke. What I'd like to try is doing a provisional cast on and working from the yoke upward, then going back to the body and working till I run out of yarn. I just don't know if that would work.

Monday, May 14, 2007

SHEness, and The Muggles just don't get it.

I am a SHE--Sidetracked Home Executive for those unfamiliar with the term. It always seems that things never really get done at my house because I'm easily sidetracked by something else when I'm in the middle of doing something. That is, when I'm not playing hooky by knitting or reading anyway. For example, yesterday dh and I were very busily cleaning up the house for our Mother's Day cookout which we were hosting. I was in the middle of cleaning the pit next to my chair where UFOs go to die when dh mentioned that I might need to check on the bluebirds in the bluebird house because he'd seen a broken egg and maybe some predator had gotten to them. So I got righteously indignant at the thought of some stinking raccoon killing my bluebirds the first stinking year any clutched in that box and marched outside with my stepladder (I'm short) to check the box. The birds were fine. Momma bluebird flew out of the house when she heard me approaching and all five eggs were fine and accounted for. So I headed back to the house past my irises whereupon I remembered that I needed to replace the irises in the vase inside the house, so I got some scissors, headed back out, and cut some irises. And bleeding hearts. And Johnson's Blue geranium. Oh, and some columbines. I finally finished refreshing the bouquets in the house, so I got back to business cleaning in the bathroom and needed to get some more toilet paper to restock the cabinet. So I trotted off to the laundry room where the spare TP is kept. I remembered whilst there that the laundry in the dryer needed to be jerked and hung and the remaining laundry dried. So I did that, interrupting dh so he'd bring me some more hangers in the process. Then I decided to throw the kids dark clothes in the washer, intending to bring down more darks from upstairs to fill the load. Many minutes later after straightening the laundry room, I remembered for what I'd gone there in the first place and headed back to the bathroom to finish cleaning it only to recall that I was actually in the middle of cleaning the pit next to the chair before any of the bluebird/flowers/bathroom/tp/laundry room craziness began!

So that's why I never seem to get anything done. I get lots of tiny steps done toward accomplishing things, but then I'm sidetracked by something else. Right now I should be working on the monkey sock, but I was folding laundry and folding my yarn over cable socks when I remembered that I forgot to tell my mom how to care for her socks I gave her (they're NOT superwash wool) so I called her. We chatted for a bit about Purdue day tomorrow (homemakers' choral festival) and she mentioned that she didn't think my MIL was planning to get over here to watch the kids at the time that *I* thought she would be getting over here. So then I had to check in with dh via IM to make sure his mother was in fact going to be here when she was needed. And then of course since I was in the computer room, I had to check my email. Then I remembered I wanted to write this blog entry so I started on that. The dryer buzzer went off reminding me that I'd forgotten to jerk and hang the damp shirts I'd gotten out of the dryer earlier. So I went to do that and now I'm back. This SHEness is exhausting! And that darks load I was going to start yesterday? Just started it about an hour ago. *sigh*

On to how The Muggles don't get it. The Yarn Harlot frequently refers to non-knitters as "muggles" so I'm going to co-opt her use of it here. The muggles in my family tolerate my love of yarn and obsession with knitting. They wear and use the handknit items with which I gift them. Or some of them do. My mother appreciates the knit socks anyway, though I'm not sure she really uses the felted bags all that much. Anyway, I was knitting away on the monkey sock with my Mama E's C*eye*ber Fiber yarn in the Mean Girls colorway that I picked up at Threaded Bliss a few weeks ago. (It is really unseemly just how much I love this yarn--the softness! the colors! the perfect variegation! I just love it a little too much perhaps.) So being taken with the yarn as I am, I trotted out to the patio to display its loveliness for the admiration of my mother, MIL, and SIL. "Look how pretty this yarn is! Isn't it just so pretty?" I exclaimed, expecting their faces to light up with the delight I feel when admiring it.
I expected at least that someone would reach out and want to feel how soft it is and admire the colors more closely. Nope. Each of them just said, "Yeah, it's pretty." Much in the way one might comment on the weather, "Yeah, it's sunny." *sigh* Yarn is so unappreciated by the muggles. They just don't get it. I didn't even bother to get out Lilac the Tapdancing Midget yarny goodness from Lime & Violet's etsy shop for them to look at. They wouldn't understand why I love it.

Oh, yeah. I finished the Horcrux socks last week too. See the lightning bolt? The pattern is based on the speculation that Harry Potter's scar may be the last Horcrux. We shall see in just a few months whether the speculation pans out. The yarn is Lang Jawoll colors. The pattern is one of the Six Sox Knitalong patterns.

And these are the socks I gave my mom yesterday, the Springtime in Paris socks which also happen to be a Six Sox Knitalong pattern. One is inside out because you can wear them either way. Inside out the pattern is supposed to look like little Eiffel Towers. Worn stockinette side out it's supposed to look like the drops of spring rain dripping down the window of your hotel room in Paris. The yarn is Knitpicks Sock Memories in Grandma.