Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Canoeing? Check! Knitting? Check? Paint the house? Still to do...

Okay, so maybe listening to "If Love is a Red Dress" isn't really putting me in the right mood to blog at the moment, but that song will be over soon enough and I'll be on the surf-rock that I'm in the mood to listen to from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack (careful if clicking this link at the office....it starts out just like the soundtrack with the cafe robbery scene & lots of yelling and f-bombs). There, now it's better as the tracks have changed; but as far as house painting is concerned, we're completely stalled at the moment. We've been pretty busy and there's some prep work needed to be done, particularly with out-right replacing some of the worn siding. Considering that Chuck's still a little steamed at me b/c I misunderstood him earlier this evening over whether or not he was picking up Sylvain or heading to a movie, I guess I'll wait 'til tomorrow to mention that I found a carpenter who might be able to replace the questionable pieces we've been eyeballing. He doesn't care for hiring someone, but c'mon. We're getting into Year 2 with this little project. And especially since he's been dragging his heels on this part. I mean, since he's been unsuccessful in finding siding that matches the original. (I'll let you choose which story you're likely to believe.)

I'm happy to report that Sylvain did a fabulous job of kayaking the Manistee solo this weekend. I'm afraid now that he'll never willingly get into a canoe or tandem kayak with Chuck or I again.

Also over the weekend, I was able to start and complete Scarf #1 for the Spartan vs Wolverine Knitting Challenge 2009 between Woven Art and Knit-A-Round. I followed the New Wave pattern from Knitting New Scarves by Lynne Barr. I love this book and hope to eventually make every scarf in it. Yes, even the sea anemone looking one. Next up, I'm thinking of making another kids' scarf but making it generic stockingnette pattern that's wider at the ends, has little pockets along the front, and filling the pockets with little animals from Amigurumi Knits. Worth the work or not?

Lastly, here are some photos of my Shop Hop loot. I'm proud to say that all are Christmas presents, so stay tuned to see these as we progress into the holidays...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Win some, lose some

So, Chuck's driving with Sylvain sitting shot-gun and me in the back seat of my car. Not that I'm a control freak or anything, but it's pretty damned scary sitting back here as we're tearing down the highway towards Amy's family cabin in Manton. It's our annual canoeing get together; and this year, Sylvain gets to kayak solo.

Anyways, we just switched up the driving since I've come down with a pretty annoying cold and am beginning to feel pretty tired.

I took the day off of work today with the hopes of getting my house cleaned and ready in anticipation of hosting knitting this Tuesday. I'm certain that when we get home from canoeing, cleaning will be the last thing I'd want to do, so had wanted to get that out of the way.

Yes, I was sure to take photos of all of my Shop Hop loot, but neglected to upload the pics before leaving on our trip. This is because, unfortunately for me, I decided that I'd start off with sorting my yarn stash. Six and a half hours later, I had a decent-looking yarn room with my yarn organized by fiber and project status.

So, let's explore this one for a minute.

I covered my living room with yarn, notions, patterns, and (literal) knit-knacks. Sarah can vouch for this as mid-way thru the sorting, she was very kind to stop by with her knittty-knoddy that I borrowed (which, by the way, was a tremendous help!). Wool took over the large couch; acrylic, kits, and UFOs on the second couch; sock yarn mounded on the ottoman; cottons lined the floor in front of the fireplace; and novelty yarn perched on an end-table.

The up-side of this whole process: found 5 pairs (!) of needles and my missing hank of Dream in Color mentioned in previous day and some wonderful Shu Bui yarn I totally forgot I had purchased from Knit/Purl in Oregon.

And since there's a down-side wherever there's an up-side: my house is no cleaner than before I started. In fact, one could validly argue that it's significantly worse. Needless to say, if you're over Tuesday and notice an errant dust bunny, please turn a blind eye. I'd gladly distract you my newly organized yarn stash.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Hi folks. Still here. If you've seen me lately, yes, I've been somewhat a frazzled mess. School started last week for Sylvain. What should have been a fun and exciting time was somewhat sober due to the death in a car accident of one of the scouts in Sylvain's troop. One of the saddest parts of this whole thing is that his parents are wonderful people and they've done everything right, but still, you can only teach your children so much. Yes, he caused the accident, and really the only thing they could have done to prevent it was to have kept him home all of the time, but what life is that for a teen? And at what point do you trust them to make judgements for themselves? This January, Sylvain will be 14 years and 9 months -- the age at which he can start Driver's Education in Michigan. Keep that in mind the next time you're stuck in traffic and think the driver in the next car over is looking a little young. Chances are, they are pretty damned young.

But, seriously, folks. I just got home from our first Guild meeting of the year and was hoping to spend some quality time on the computer, updating this blog, clearing out e-mail, and (once again) getting rid of the prostitutes that are following me on Twitter (Do I really need a spread-eagle crotch-shot? Apparently, something in my tweets led this person to follow me...), BUT my basement (where the home office is) stinks. Sorry...actually it's pretty darned rank and I think something died somewhere in here. I know that Chuck had put out some mouse traps because our first year here, we had an issue with them in the basement...but what could it possibly be now? And where? I phoned Chuck to let him know he has quite the task to take care of when he returns from his trip tomorrow; during this conversation, he thought to let me know that he found the outdoor vent to our dryer was off and asked if I had anything to do with that. Of course, I didn't, so now am wondering if something clawed that off, then climbed down the vent and died. I spent most of Saturday and Sunday doing laundry, so if something did crawl down there and died, it's pretty well cooked. Well, it's quite a possibility to ponder....

Now that I've totally grossed you out. I do have a dilemma to share. At tonight's meeting, Erin announced that part of this year's Guild program will be a knitting exchange. Each participating knitter will turn in yarn for a project that will be exchanged for someone else's project yarn. The recipient determines what the exchange item will be, knit it up, and return it during the May meeting. Immediately, I thought of some green Dream in Color yarn that I had. So, once I got home, I pulled it out (mostly to make sure it wasn't dusty), but found that my memory was false -- I was thinking that I had two or three hanks, but only have one.

I don't think there's much one can do with only 250 yards, so I turned to my stash and immediately saw two left-over balls of Interlacements yarn that were used for shawls given to Chuck's mom and sister Debbie last Christmas, as well as the remainder ball of silk used in a woven scarf from last spring (in yellow). The challenge here is that I know what the fibers are, but don't know the yardage on any of them. How well would it work out for weighing it? Does anyone know if that would be a reasonable enough estimate for someone working an exchange to go by? If so, then I'd mix one of the Interlacement balls with the silk, but which to choose?

These are questions that I'm opening up for you guys to help me decide. Please let me know when you see me in person, shoot me a message (either e-mail, FB, or Ravelry), or leave a comment....Sure, it's a month away, but I'm going to miss the meeting due to an orchestra concert. Yes, I must've missed the message from the school asking for my approval before setting the schedule. Maybe that's why the schedule is still in "partial" state....

Before I'm completely overcome with the stench, I did want to share my finished objects and make mention of Lisa's pattern and article on Knitty Spin. The Kindly Sheep mittens are the first test-knit pattern that I did for her way back in May. I don't quite know where my mittens are at this particular moment, and will need to root around in the yarn room to pull them out for photos. I'll be sure to do that soon (maybe even on Friday). The pattern also has a fun article titled "Seeking a Kindly Shetland Sheep", so be sure to check that out too....

Also, I'd like to thank Sarah for pointing out that the after-thought heels on my Vilai socks did not match, so on Labor Day, I labored by tearing out and reknitting both heels so that they do match. I'm very happy that I did that as the pair looks much better (though I couldn't tell the difference between the two heels on foot).

Lastly, in keeping with my tradition of making sweaters that don't fit me well: I blocked the Long-wrap cardigan that Nancy designed. The sweater is pretty and the yarn feels wonderful. Unfortunately for me, the yarn grew by at least 6 inches on the blocking board, and the chest does not fit around me. I don't know what I'm thinking when I start these projects, but I always seem to pick the wrong size for myself. Since the pattern is worked top down, right now I'm inclined to tear out from the bottom up and reknit from the bottom of the armhole back down with drastic increases along the front band so that it at least wraps somewhat close to the front of my chest. Nancy, if you're reading this, it's not you, it's me. I'm retarded. I can't even take a decent photo.