Monday, November 02, 2009

Stupid with a flaregun

I finished weaving in the ends on these today. Stephanie and I both fell in love with this knit while we were yarn-crawling a few weeks ago, so we each got a kit. I of course went with an eggplant color, and tada! I love them. Bonus? The match my new Namaste knitting bag, which I've been carrying everywhere as a purse (that is mysteriously full of knitting).
And also the shirt I was wearing today.
As well as the purple part of my market squares bag.
And my robe (though nary the twain shall meet).
And honestly a bunch of other stuff I have around here, because apparently this is my favorite color.

In sadder news, my crochet hooks have gone missing and I cannot figure out where they are. I even thought that by looking feverishly for something else I could trick them into appearing, but it wasn't to be! Alas, and also alack.
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Sunday, August 09, 2009

This week in pain...

Tuesday we took Madeline to the vet. Now... Maddie isn't fond of me at the best of times. But when I'm trying to get her into the carrier? She really isn't. I came away with a nasty bite on my finger, but the swelling has gone down on it enough for me to move and it's healing up nicely.
But then Thursday comes along. We're out for a treat of ice cream (hooray!) and get rear-ended. Hello, whiplash. No worries, I'll just continue my regimen of frequent ibuprofen that I began in response to the hateful cat.
And now Sunday.
I used my Burt's Bees Milk&Honey lotion, which smells so tasty that my Banzai had to lick my leg. We sit outside to warm up after being in a too-air-conditioned restaurant. I get in the car to leave and feel something brush against my face. Thinking it is my hair, I reach up to brush it out of the way, when OW! What the hell! I look at my thumb and there it is: a stinger.
Poor little honeybee gave her life to fight off my thumb. I feel horrible. This wouldn't have happened if I didn't smell so sweet. :(

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Rachel and I have been swimming about three times a week lately, and I have found Swimplan to be a handy resource. It generates workouts based on a number of factors, and saves me from having to decide what to do. Love that.
Red start
I'm making a Red Scarf this year. This picture was taken on Wednesday, so I've made a lot of progress since then, but... at least it's a visual. I love how it's turning out so very squishy!
On June 1st, we adopted a new cat into our house, and she has been under Rachel's bed this entire time. It really seems like there isn't even a third cat in the house, except that there's an extra box to clean. We feed her separately from the boys, too, because they are known piggies (no offense to actual pigs).

Sunday, May 24, 2009


a snail in the hand
Rachel removed this snail from the pathway of lots of foot traffic, and said snail didn't want to let go of Rachel's hand. But it's awfully cute. And big. The snails near my house are never nearly this large.

one in the bush
And here's another snail.

Thought for today:
Say no to drugs
unless you need or want them.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Banzai has turned five!

So it's Banzai story time.

One morning a dreadful storm blew down the fence in the back yard. A neighborhood cat alerted us by staring intently at the spot. Not long after, the next-door neighbors' massive dog decided to check out our yard. No problem. Except that Banzai saw him.
Fluffed Banzai
He got fluffy.
The situation was resolved peacefully, as Rosco was more than willing to return to his home, and the fence was easy enough to prop back up and stabilize with a ridiculously heavy cast-iron chair that just happens to live in the back yard.

Banzai happy
This is the face of contentment. Someone to pet him, AND an afghan to snooze on!

Banzai toes


table cat

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy EarthDay to you, Happy EarthDay to you...

Since it's Earth Day, but mostly because I have them, here are some nature-related photos I've taken lately!

buzz buzz
We've had several bees around the bushes in our front yard, and they don't really respond to my requests to please hold still so I can take a picture. But this one was a little bit cooperative, and isn't she cute?

I know it's a weed or whatever, but I think dandelions are lovely, and this one greeted me yesterday as I was out the door to go to the health club.

tree before
On March 31, it still looked like winter. The sky was grey and the tree was mostly bare (although there was a good deal of new growth).
Now, it's summertime. It was 90 degrees yesterday and this same tree looked thus:
tree after
She provides a good deal of shade, for which I am grateful. Even in a light-colored car with a sunshade in the window, it gets mighty hot being parked in the sun.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Mom said I had made enough changes to Picovoli that it was like a different pattern. She recommended I write up my notes. Sigh. I'm far too lazy for this sort of thing! But here we go:

The yarn I used, 2nd Time Cotton, knit up at a gauge of 4 st/in on size 8 needles (Denises, if you were wondering) instead of the 5.5 st/in called for in the original pattern. I'm not gonna let a little thing like gauge stop me! This looks like a job for math!
So, the cast-on specified for the size I wanted to make (40-inch bust) was 140. Divide that by the gauge: 140/5.5=25.4545454545... which either I or my cell phone (which doubles as my calculator!) rounded up to 25.5.
Multiply that by the new gauge: 25.5 * 4 = 102
But I wanted a number that divided by 4 evenly, so I made it 104. I could have made it 100 instead, but I didn't. Oh well! I cast on with crochet hook because I like the way that looks with garter stitch, and purled my first round. Right now, and until I finished the garter stitch rows, I was working on a size 6 needle.
At this point, honestly, I think I just picked nice divisible-by-four numbers to be how many I have at front, back, and sleeves. I went with 16 stitches at each sleeve and 36 at front and back. I didn't take very good notes as I went along.
Anyway, with my markers placed, it was time to work my first increase round. I worked the increase rounds thus, every other round:
*Knit to 1 st before marker, yo, k1, sm, k1, yo, repeat from * until end of round. When I finished garter stitch, I switched to size 8 needles but kept on in the increase pattern.
I worked until I had the sweater the size I wanted it, then put the sleeves on holders (extra Denise cables). On front and back I had 76 stitches each, and at each underarm I cast on 4 stitches, which put the sweater right at 40 inches. Cool.
Then I worked even until the point where it was time to begin decreases. At this point I basically followed the pattern except that I had to adjust the number of stitches between markers on the waist shaping:
The original has 52 stitches at front and back and 58 stitches at the sides, so for me
52/5.5≈9.5*4=38 "untouched" stitches at sides
58/5.5≈10.5*4=42 stitches to start waist shaping with.

This is where I switched my size, too, to account for a larger waist and hip. This part is easy: I just stopped the waist decreases early. The I increased as per instructions and then knit even till it was as long as I wanted it. Switched back to size 6 needle, worked 10 rounds of garter stitch, and bound off.
All this part I finished probably in August, not too long after I had started it.

After that I left it in a project bag all by itself for a long time.
When March rolled around, I put one sleeve's stitches on needles, picked up the four underarm stitches, and knit my sleeves, decreasing two stitches at the bottom side every 1.5 inches twice. Then I worked 10 rounds of garter stitch on size 6 to make it match the neck and lower edges, bound off, and did the same thing on the other sleeve. The process took part of an evening.

Then I wondered why I had put it off so long. Oh well, I've got a new top now. It's on Ravelry here!

Octopus Prime

octo front
This little fella came from Tamie Snow's book Tiny Yarn Animals: Amigurumi Friends to Make and Enjoy, which I got way back when I had a birthday. I'm pleased with how he turned out.
Something else I'm pleased with:
the shirt I finished a couple weeks ago, a version of Grumperina's Picovoli that I reworked for a larger gauge and sleeves. I changed the increase ratio at the yoke for this, but maintained the shaping because I love it. It's hella comfy, but the neckline is pretty wide. Which WOULD be okay except that my purse is wool and has a wool strap. Which, again, WOULD be okay except that I'm allergic to wool. So the exposed bit of neck/shoulder turns red. Guess I'll just have to use a different purse when I wear this top.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Great Blue Heron?

Today Mom, Rachel and I were meeting Dad for lunch and took a wrong turn. We pulled into an apartment's parking lot to try and figure out where to go, and saw what I believe to be a great blue heron:
He or she (apparently males and females look the same) was just hanging out there. I wasn't close enough, so I had to take this picture with the digital zoom, but you get the idea. I had no idea these guys live in San Antonio, but sure enough, we're well within their range.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

I saw a ball of Lion Brand Nature's Choice Organic Cotton at Joann's and had a coupon, so I thought, why not? So yesterday evening I started playing with it. Here's what the ball band said:

This was a lie. Here's the yarn on my WPI tool (which was a Christmas gift!):

Below I've helpfully drawn red lines between each wrap and numbered them so you can see.

That's 6 wraps per inch. And on the recommended needle size, I don't get 4 stitches per inch. I get just about 3, or maybe as many as 3.25. Either way, this is decidedly not worsted. This is not even Aran. This is straight up bulky yarn, or possibly even super-bulky. So what's the deal, Lion Brand? Did you not realize that numbers have meaning to knitters and crocheters?

It's fine for me, as I'll be using this yarn to make chemo caps and bulkier yarn just means the project works up more quickly, but if I had wanted to make a top from it and had ordered the yarn online going by the information provided I would be a little bit upset.

OH WAIT, something exactly like that DID happen to me back when I made my Lutea Lace-Shoulder Shell from Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton. Now, that yarn wasn't as bulky as this, but it was definitely beyond worsted and I ended up making an entirely different size top than I would have.

Is this an organic cotton thing? The Plymouth stuff I used to make my bobble dishcloth seemed to be the actual weight stated, so... uh... was it not really organic?