Friday, March 28, 2008

It's Heather Day

Yep, it's that time of year again, time to celebrate the natal day of my partner in crime. As of today she's ........ years old (come on now, did ya really think I was gonna say the *actual* number? )

I remember being, well, less than thrilled with the idea of a new sibling, but over the years, those feelings have certainly changed. It's great to have someone who will help you move furniture, chose a special outfit, go to exercise classes with you (or not) and enable your shoe and purse habits, not to mention the yarn habit. It's even good to have someone who can say to you "Were you drinking when you bought that?" (and no, I wasn't, it's just my inability to just say no to a sale). So, all in all, this whole baby sister thing has worked out pretty well, I think. Thanks for being you kid. Happy Birthday and many, many, many returns of the day.

Liza {who thinks the baby brother or puppy would have been a really bad idea}

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cheer-up Post

Since my last couple of posts have been of a fairly cranky nature, I feel I need to post something a little more, well, light-hearted. So, here we go, LOLCats and Monty Python references, how can that not make you smile?

Humorous Pictures

Humorous Pictures

Liza {who adds, this post brought to you by I Can Has Cheezburger. Making regular people wet themselves and the grammar police cringe since January 11, 2007 }

Beware the Ides of March

This line popped into my head yesterday when I changed the date on the calendar by my knitting spot.

However, unlike Caesar, I don't have to worry about assassination, only bad knitting.

I dunno what I've done to anger the knitting gods, but for the past few days everything I've done has been, well, crap. The Swallowtail Shawl hasn't progressed since Wednesday.

I've worked on it, but have ended up going backwards! Very frustrating.

So, I thought I should do something else and on Friday brought several different projects to TGIF at Make One. The first thing I went with was the Sleeveless Wrap Top from Blue Sky Alpacas.

Uh, yeah, that was a no go. Then I pulled out the second sock (of the second pair) of #6 on my MP 2008 list. The sock that I said earlier this month was at the gusset. Um, no it wasn't, however I didn't clue into this fact and blew right past the need for the heel turn and started picking up stitches.

It was at that point that I decided to give up and cast on for some brainless knitting in the form of a roll-brim hat that I'll donate to charity. It seems this is what the knitting gods wanted me to do, as that project moved smoothly for the rest of TGIF and I was able to continue on easily at Pub Nite (it's at the crown shaping).

I think I was being sent a message, but I'm not sure what exactly the message was. Was I getting to cocky with my knitting? Or was this a reminder that sometimes I need to stop focusing so hard on myself and look at the bigger picture?

Either way, I did end up with a mental list of things I need to remember:

1) Read ahead in the pattern.

2) Before ripping out what you did before you read ahead in the pattern, make sure that any changes you make are actually needed, as your style of knitting may not match exactly with the pattern designers.

3) Check for errata.

4) Please learn to count to three!?!

Oh, and I forgot this one:

5) Because your memory is, well, less than reliable (no really?), when picking up a project after a protracted break, it is not a bad idea to review what's been done so far and what still needs to be done. Even if you're sure, you know where you left off. And a quick glance at the pattern wouldn't go amiss either.

Liza {who's avoiding the whole issue today, by spending it with her fabric stash}

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Two Steps Forward Five Steps Back

Okay, I know that's not exactly how the saying goes, but that's my interpretation right now. And what, one may ask, has me feeling this way? Well, there are a few things.

The first situation we need to examine is only partially my fault. I say only, partially 'cause certain people convinced me this was a good idea. And said good idea? Nothing less than a KAL for the Swallowtail Shawl. Now don't get me wrong, it's a lovely pattern, see:

Well written, nice clear charts, etc., etc. However, there seems to be the knitting equivalent to PEBCK happening here (for those of you who don't speak computereze, this means Problem Exists Between Chair and Keyboard). Yep, it seems I am a dumbass who can't count to three on a regular and ongoing basis. Sigh.

The second situation contributing to the 5 steps back feeling? Well, that'd be this house. I you remember last week we had ourselves a plumbing situation. After some time and more $$ than I'd like to have spent (think of the yarn that could have been) I got that mostly sorted out. There's still a tap that needs replacing, but I think I'm just going to have to figure out how to do that by myself, even if it kills me. Oh, and does anyone know of a plumbing equivalent to the Knitting Help videos? All in all though, sounds things are improving, right? That's what I thought too, ha! The house was just waiting. It seems that now the side door on the garage is not latching properly. In a strong wind, the door now pops/blows open. And what is one of Calgary's weather's most notable features? Yeah, strong winds. Of course, I'm not even going to mention the furnace, the fence that's falling down or the mouse (mice?) in the compost bin.

And the final 5 steps back situation? That'd be the house shaking project. The one that designed to make life easier? Not so much. A month later I have 3 messy/unusable spaces where before there was one messy/unusable space, one semi-messy/inconvenient space and one lovely living room. But that, well, it could be a post all on it's own. And it might just be, maybe even with pictures to illustrate.

Liza {who really needs to remember that other saying. The one that goes "Those who fail to plan, should plan to fail" or at least should be prepared for a mess. Just saying}

Monday, March 10, 2008

Drive-by Progress Report

The house shaking project is slow going, but there has been a bit work on the knitting front. At least enough to fool myself into thinking there is a need for a progress report:

2) Offspring # 2’s Blue Sky Alpacas’ Hooded Pullover in Dyed Cotton (the one that was supposed to be for Christmas). Second sleeve is at the cap shaping.
3) Jumbo cat blanket (aka an afghan for the living room, but I might as well be honest about it’s eventual fate). Finished off another ball of yarn here, so maybe a couple of inches done.
4) KP&S’s Weekend Neck Down Jacket in Blue Sky Alpacas’ bulky. This has been loaded into a knitting bag, and then taken back out. Nothing more's happened though.
5) All the little kid items (charity knitting) that have been languishing about. I’m counting this as one item even though there are, oh, 2 vests, 3 cardi’s, 2 pullovers and a baby sweater in the bunch . Mostly because they all just need a little bit of finishing work. Nada.
6) At least 2 pairs of socks of the ½ dozen or so on the needles. At the gusset for the second sock of the second pair.
7) The Blue Sky Alpacas’ Eyelet Cardigan in Dyed Cotton (it just needs finishing work). Nothing, which is just so dumb, it wouldn't take that much time to finish!
8) 2 new items for charity (deadline of Feb. 8th for charity knit night @ Make One Yarn Studio). Done.
9) My version of Mr. Greenjeans in Dream in Color’s Cocoakiss. Zip.
10) KP&S’s Neckdown Wrap Cardigan in Malabrigo (same pattern as the one in the previous post). Body done, working on the first sleeve.
11) Blue Sky Alpacas’ Scoop Neck Vest in Classic Elite’s Renaissance. Zero progress.
12) Fleece Artist’s Lady of the Lake in Curlylocks and Fleece Artist Aran Yarn. Took this one out of the bag the other day and realized that in one of my cleaning fits (they do happen, just not often) I'd put the needles away. Arrrggh. One day, when I have a bit of time (and patience) I'll sort that out.

And with that, I'll leave you with a picture of the yarn that fell into my bag after Tuesday's Knit Nite:

Curious Creek's Wasonga in Glacier Lakes.

Liza {who says, we won't mention that the project for this yarn has already been cast on~shhhhh!}

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Falling Apart

No not me (or at least not me this time), but rather this house. This time we have plumbing issues. Sigh. This means I'm going to have to venture into manland to buy fixtures. And since I have no freakin' clue how to chose such things, I'll have to throw myself on the mercy of the folks there. Fun times.

So what does this have to do with knitting you ask? Well, more than you might expect. In fine ostrich type behaviour, I've been doing my best to avoid thinking about said plumbing issues all week. And since said issues are least evident when one is sitting on the couch in the family room with the TV on, that is exactly where my butt has been planted. So, prime knitting time.

This Friday, M1 hosted a Leap Year party and one of the activities was a mini sock exchange and my contribution to the exchange was one of this week's plumbing avoidance activities. These little goobers (shown below) are just so cute and a really quick knit. That is, if you don't have gauge issues and end up knitting more than one. Not that I'd know about that personally, uh un.

Oh and BTW, I may have figured out away around my picture/camera/computer issues and there may (or may not) be pictures of my actual sock exchange socks coming soon (both the one I made and I received).

Of course, that little sock would not have taken all my attention this week, so I've also been working on my second Wrap Sweater:

(I'm using Malabrigo Worsted in Tuareg for this one)

I'd left off at the point where you divide for the sleeves and as of last night it's now just a few rows from the cast off at the bottom of the body. I hope to get to the sleeves by the end of the weekend.

Or not, as the weekend is a bit busy. There's the trip to manland to contend with (yeah, there goes several hours I'm sure). And the other Vegetable Sister is coming over today to help with the "turn the house upside down" project. Speaking of which, I should wrap this up and go prepare for that.

Liza {who really doesn't do mornings well~it's almost 11 am and she's still in her jammies}