Monday, April 30, 2007

the good, the bad and the ugly

No, really, we watched that movie this weekend. *well, part of it. Do you know how long that movie is? Er, neither do I, but we watched until we thought 'man, this is a long movie' then checked, and were around halfway through. So we're finishing it this afternoon. It took me a while to figure out the dubbing scheme. I was almost positive parts of it were dubbed, since they were using the same two voice actors from 'bubba's budget dubbing' that I recognized from all the kung-fu movies. But then, it's Clint Eastwood, and he doesn't speak Italian, does he? It can't be dubbed. That and there really isn't much talking to begin with. So I was befuddled for some time. Apparently, it was released in both america and italy, so half of the scenes were done in each language, and dubbed to the other.
Apparently people like M know this.
And young clint eastwood isn't bad looking either. He reminds me of hugh jackman, or at least, according to M, he has the same two facial expressions, 'stern', and 'slightly confused'. Those work for me.

Knitting, you want me to talk about knitting? I'm up to tier 11. Are pictures really necessary? I probably have a tier and a half left on this ball of yarn.

I finally got my skye tweed order from webs from way back when. They aren't really that slow at filling orders. Apparently the first time I thought I ordered it, I never clicked the 'make it so' button, and thus spent the next month and a half wondering where my yarn was. But it has since been actually ordered, and come in, and of course, I had to see if the different dye lot would match well enough (it does, you can't even tell) so I finished one of the sleeves. I'd forgotten how rough this yarn was to work with. Almost sticky. One sleeve and seams to go. I should really get different yarn for seaming it too.

one sleeve done

I also finally got buttons for the handpaintedyarn sweater. They did have them at Hobby-Lobby. They're nothing special but they should work. Unfortunately, I think I will now finish the fair isle first, since I have yarn for that. But by-golly, when the time comes, I have buttons.

pretty good match

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

drip drip drip

The weather forecast for my area is: 'A slight chance of showers in the evening...then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after midnight. Thursday: Showers and thunderstorms likely in the morning... then showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon.'

It looks like that until Saturday. We really haven't had much rain this month, so we're due for our April showers sometime now. but you think they could have made that forecast a little more - succinct? y'know 'showers and thunderstorms FOREVER' or something catchy like that.

Did two blocks and a triangle of FPS last night. Was darn tired by the time I finished the triangle. I'm now on tier 8. This is darned boring to blog about. I will not post another picture, because it looks exactly the same. Maybe another pic when I finish the first ball of yarn (coming up relatively soon here). Oddly, I'm not getting bored of actually knitting it as much as I thought I would. I guess the rotation of blocks provides enough variation for my simple mind. Either that or I'm born to be a lace knitter and just didn't know it until now.

My only complaint is that All Tangled Up posted a picture of her FPS, and her 8th tier is a heck of a lot longer than mine. Like, up & down longer, not width wider, which is obvious. Even when mine's stretched out it's not that long. In the store, the zephyr looked about the same weight as the misti alpaca I choose. What gives?

Oh, ok, I guess I have two complaints. While the concentration level is not such that I need complete silence, it's also not to a point that I can look up at a television while working. So I it's frustrating when there's nothing tolerable on t.v. for background noise, because I can't watch a movie or recorded show with M since I can't knit while paying that much attention.

We went house browsing yesterday, which was probably more interesting than my forest path travails, but harder to write about, particularly since I'm trying *not* to plan out gardens in all the backyards we see. Don't get attached and all that. I'm mostly failing. I could tell you where I'll put rhododendrons, and herbs, and a pond, and the lilac, and ask how to prune the ancient one that's already there, and say what I'd do the first year vs. the second vs. the distant future. But I won't. Because writing it down is even worse than thinking it.

Monday, April 23, 2007


Busy, busy weekend. I think I knit, one triangle? 1/3 of a block? Something insignificant. I will try very hard to take pictures when I get home.

Busy, but good. We went on an off-trail guided hike at one of our local parks to see some old-growth sycamores. No pictures of those. Honestly, I was a little unimpressed by the sycamores, they look pretty much like other big sycamores. Yeah, a little bigger, but not so much that it's truly astounding. There were buckeye and box elder trees down there which were quite large given they are typically understory trees. Those were more interesting, but not terribly picturesque. (they looked like trees, in particular, trees without leaves)

The weather was gorgeous, sunny and breezy and mild. Perfect. I did manage to pick up a sunburn hiking through the leafless woods. We are finally developing that elusive 'green haze' on the bare trees. It seems long overdue.

The lettuce sprouts, however, are not thriving. They aren't exactly dead, but they're not getting much bigger either. There probably isn't enough sun. Too bad.

Lest you think a simple hike could prevent me from progressing on fps, we also ate and saw pan's labyrinth with friends we hadn't seen for months. (My vote was for grindhouse or 300. I was vetoed), weeded garlic mustard out of my MIL's yard. There wasn't much, and it was quite satisfying. And went to a housewarming party for one of M's friends. And in-laws are a good drive away. So busy. But good.

I'm not sure if the stiffness is from the hiking or the weeding. I didn't get it until today, but it's all in my derriere and thighs.

Finally, pictures! (from the back porch)

'The Lump'

stretched out some - note tier 7 otn

Friday, April 20, 2007


I only knit one more patch (well, two half-patches) on fps last night. I think I've done four or five since the last post. Maybe a little more. I'm on the 6th tier. I figured it takes me a little over an hour to do a patch. (ah the precise timing achieved by knitting with the t.v. on) This leads to very easy math on how long it will take me to finish.

I am very carefully avoiding doing this math. I don't want to know. I'm pretty sure it will be something obscene like over 100 hours. I don't need to be aware of that sort of thing.

I'm completely digging the nupps too. They are my good good fast-patch friends. I had a devil of a time with them on the swatches and failed first attempt, but here, they're great. Even a little on the loose side if I don't think about it. The trick is looping the yo's over my index finger and holding them out until I knit the stitch after the nupp. Good stuff.

Anyway, on to the title of the post. Ever since the Germany thing fell through (yes the Germany thing fell through, so sad), I'd been nervous and postponing searching for a house. We'd done some preliminary looking before, but kept on the conservative side of what we thought we could afford, which resulted in houses I didn't particularly want to live in.

Well, tonight my dad called, and announced that he had fresh-caught trout which nobody else in my family wanted to eat (crazies). After dinner we talked some finance. (my Dad's profession) and re-examined how much we could probably afford. The new range yields much more promising results.

I've found that I'm drawn to idiosyncratic old houses more than I am to practical things that might do anything positive for the resale value (or cost of heating) 1838 brick farmhouse with three chimneys that look like they could actually heat the place? original 1914 art-deco looking woodwork and a crazy sliding door with beveled glass that looks like it came off a barn? I'm so there. So what if it only has 1.5 baths?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

knit knit knit

So the spinning urge has passed, though I still think the rovings are oh-so-pretty. So have the starting urges. I did make good progress on FPS. More on that latter.

I also did make it to Michaels, but they sell no buttons. Now where-to? I might try Hobby-Lobby - I think they had a real fabric section, while Michaels does not, but it is the same sort of store, which lowers my expectations. Or perhaps Wal-mart? I heard they're closing their fabric section, but have they yet? They're close enough to make checking less painful.

I'm up to tier 4 on the FPS. While that is nominal in the course of how long it will need to be, and less than it sounds like since I'm making it narrow, I feel like it's solid progress. Total of 8.5 squares if I remember right. It's almost longer than it is wide.

I did my first standing up & knitting at the social security office today. Wasn't in line long enough to do much, and didn't get any comments, but I felt cool to have an intricate project there. (I'm such a nerd) and it was helpful for the standing part that it was lightweight. I did feel like I was hunching more than I do when I knit while seated.

I also worked on it a little at my parents', where we stopped over the weekend to do more potting (a.k.a. steal more pots), borrow their grill (a.k.a. make them dinner) and M fixed the computer. My mom asked if I was making it for her. While I'm pretty sure I want to keep this one, it makes me happy to have a willing recipient for lace, since I'm not sure how much of it I could wear myself. (who are we kidding here, I don't have *any* lace FO's yet - always planning ahead...) She says she likes shawls even though other people tell her they look like an old lady, and that maybe she is getting to be an old lady.

We also watched V for vendetta. (again, to show it to my family) and I'm still quite fond of that movie. While the current-politics slant is done with a bit of a heavy hand, the material does at least pre-date today's specific political clime by a good bit, and was allegedly even more political. I love how well the title character was done, quite a feat given you don't see his face. Makes you think about the technical aspects of movie-making involved in making that work. Also, I think the 1812 overture is a spectacular backdrop for blowing up buildings. Which, I guess is what it was designed to be, except for with ships. The emotion there is such an effective foil - far superior to fireworks. Family liked the movie too, which surprised me a bit, I was expecting it might be a little too dark for them.

Friday, April 13, 2007

itchy fingers

I want to start something. I want to acquire more yarn, and start doing something new. Like learning to spin. With stuff like this

or this,

or even this.

and make a lumpy bumpy beginner yarn into a lumpy bumpy bulky hat. I think any of those would be enough to make a hat. Of course, I'd have to buy a spindle, but it sounds like fun.

I also want to buy every different kind of lace yarn I've ever seen.

Particularly sundara's pure silk (regardless of the fact that it is currently un-obtainable), and some petal-pink KSH and cast on a half-dozen different shawls & scarves in all the fancy patterns from my barbara walker books. This one is particularly silly, since I just found my FPS pattern, and am absolutely gleeful to be working on it. So gleeful, apparently, that I want to do other lace. Lace is largely lace to me now, starting a second pattern would bring nothing good, other than making me lose my memorization of the first pattern.

I even want to swatch and start the lurking monster of the long-planned cable&lace denim cardigan design project. This is theoretically a good thing, since I've been trying to drum-up motivation for that beast for some time now. Now that I'm in a startin' mood, I worry that I don't really have enough yarn for it, particularly if I swatch (which I must do - it's a cable-sample homegrown design for gosh sakes). So I'm stuck. Particularly since there ain't no more of the yarn available right now.

But the *real* reason I'm not starting anything, is because my inner granny (thank you mother of chaos) wants to finish things. She wants noticeable progress on the FPS, because it is fun. She really, really wants to work up the body of the handpaintedyarn sweater, since it would go so fast you know. And then it would be soft and cuddly and wonderful to wear until this coldsnap breaks. Or even better, karma might break the coldsnap to perfectly coincide with finishing the nice cuddly sweater, so that I couldn't wear it until next year. Which would be even better. Because then it wouldn't be cold.
Ahem. Back on target. The thing is, in this case, I really do agree with my inner granny, and I don't even resent her for it like I usually do. I will try *very very* hard to get myself to Michael's this weekend and pick up some buttons and ribbon for the sweater so I can finally cast on with an appropriately sized knit-on button band.

I should probably stop by old navy and attempt to buy more jeans while I'm there. (almost) all of mine have holes in the butt.

disclaimer: all images in this post are saved to my own account (no bandwidth theft) and were taken by their respective creators, who have been linked to. I take no credit for these tasty, tasty things. The images serve to advertise exactly what I have been dreaming over, which I consider fair use. However, if they are your images, and you disagree, comment and they will be removed.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Found the FPS page. With the guitar music. I was so close to buying a new one.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Monday, April 9, 2007

Snowflake Scarf

Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas, Alpaca Worsted, 4 skeins, natural and light blue
Gauge: 14 sts, 16 rows per 4"
Pattern: My own
Needles: size 8? bamboo.

This is one of my favorite projects. It's also My mother's, for what that's worth. This yarn is incredibly precious. You touch it and can't believe something so soft came from a living animal. That said, there are some guard hairs that I notice on my very sensitive neck. Not enough not to wear it. Also, one (not terribly long, though grandted double-thick) scarf like this will set you back $80. Phew.
It is beautifully warm though. Just long enough to really wrap across your face once. And quite good at hiding beginner's DK eveness issues. Also, it has a cable construction, and really hasn't pilled in two winter's worth of resonable wear. It does leave some fuzzies on my black wool coat, but the scarf itself is doing quite well.
Appoligies on the pictures - the coloration of this is incredibly hard to capture for some reason. It's subtle and pale, but not nearly as blurry and grey as these suggest. Most pictures that showed any kind of contrast either washed the whole thing to white so you could barely see the patten, or made the blue a strange brilliant cyan. I need to get better with the camera.

Progress on Many Fronts

The temperature here has finally crested freezing, after nearly a week of nasty, terrible snow-spitting misery, made all the more keen by the gorgeous 80 degree days that followed it. It isn't exactly balmy at 40F, and we probably won't have any lilacs, or many other early spring flowers here, and it's forcasted to be rainy and grey for the next, well, ever. But at least it isn't nasty-cold any more.

We're trying to grow some lettuce on the patio this year, and even after going un-watered through the 80-degree honeymoon, and left outside through the first sub-freezing night (before we realized that it was going to *stay* like that) it's not dead. Most of the problems seem to relate to itty-bitty lettuce seeds floating away in lightweight peat soil, and redistributing themselves to non-ideal locations. And they probably need thinned, but I'd like to wait until the mix seeds differentiate themselves somewhat, so I don't end up with all one thing.
(The two big containers are spinach and romaine, the little ones are a mesculn mix)

M's been great this weekend getting presents under control and put away, which is fortunate, since I've been grouchy and tired, and generally hard to motivate to do anything but sit. It still isn't done, but it's making progress.

Also making progress are the sleeves on the handpaintedyarn sweater. (in case you can't tell, that's almost a full pair there) There's been some pooling even with the alternation, some of which I find fascinating and beautiful, some of which I find, well, tolerable enough to not be worth ripping things out and trying to break the yarn to fix it.

Which leaves me dangerously close to having to make a decision (read: figure out) how to do the button band. I sense a stall coming on here...

and I still can't find the rest of my FP shawl pattern

Friday, April 6, 2007

Got Married

It's funny how my ability to think about this is hampered by the fact that I will never do it again, and therefore learning from it is irrelevant. I'd never realized how much my thought processes are centered around learning and improvement. it kept catching me unawares when I was thinking about it.

That's sort of an anti-climatic way to start that post isn't it?

To be fair, it really was a little anti-climatic, which was pretty much as I expected, seeing as we'd been as-good-as married for two whole years of engagement.

In any case, thoughts, whether I learned from them or not:

I was definitely right about not being able to handle an exciting strenuous trip to europe immediately afterwards - hocking hills was just about the right speed. Should have had the foresight to pack gatoraide and a massage for that night.

Ari very seriously critiquing Paige's performance as flower girl. Apparently 'her mom did most of it' well, she is two, so that was sort of the plan. Ari really is more the right age, but as an oldest sibling myself, I could not do that to her oldest sibling.

Should have invited more people to the rehearsal dinner, since even though I think I did a good job of mingling, I did not spend nearly as much time with my closer family as I wanted to.

Only had one contact. That plus veil equals very blurry vision. Didn't give me a headache, just kinda weird.

Flowers were good. Some of the corsages were magenta rather than pastel, which strangely aligned with my primary nagging fear in the days leading up, but the main bouquets were right.

Music was good, though I wish I'd had more time to relax and listen to it, as from all reports it was in fact, really good. This contradicts my other main nagging fear, suggesting that I should not in fact quit my job to become a psychic.

People were impressed by the cake (yay) but some seemed confused by the food format, expecting to be excused like a buffet. I think more tall tables, smaller stations, and some passed stuff would have helped this, but again, when am I ever going to use that knowledge?

One of my friends took pictures and posted them, which was nice to have right away like that. May post some, though I'm a little squeamish about posting face-pictures on the internet.

M realized when we got back that I hadn't brought my knitting and thanked me. I thought that was a little silly, since I didn't really think I'd have much opportunity to knit. He also gave me a hard time when I thanked him for making sure we could watch the basketball game (NCAA championship), since apparently, as a girl, I'm not supposed to allow sports on my honeymoon? Apparently his boss was also surprised that he'd been able to watch it, which I find particularly bizarre, since we watch most games with him. Does he really think that I would hang around with a bunch of M's work people, while the other wives were somewhere else if I did not actually like watching the games? M's boss is great, I really like him, but he's so fun to pick on, and he's definitely getting an earful for this one.