Saturday, January 03, 2009

It's Contagious!

ATTENTION: There are SPOILERS below, so if you're in either the Year of Lace or Big Ass Yarn Club, and haven't gotten your Dec. package yet, and don't want to see what it is, DON'T LOOK !!!

Looks like there's another blogger in the family! This time, it's D1's sister-in-law, Pam, who lives in Washington. She's started a blog for her family news and is currently showcasing some of the wonderful photos taken by her daughter Catlyn. Check her out: Pam's Blog is here.

Also contagious is the Floozy Cast-On for this week! Here's my latest project:

and... a closeup of the project! Yes, this is the Totally Autumn pattern from Knitty, which I had started in a pretty lavender Lullabye from Lotus Yarns. It just wasn't working--the pattern and the yarn clashed too badly so it was frogged. Sigh. At least I was able to reclaim the yarn, and now I've cast this on in a different and I think more appropriate yarn.

This, if you're a regular reader, you may remember as having arrived in a box as a tangled mess. Once it was untangled and wound into a nice ball, it was given to me! So I'm using it with this pattern, in one repeat's width, to make a scarf.

So far so good.

I'm halfway through the first repeat, and it's looking as if it will work very nicely with this yarn.

Okay, here's another project that has been malingering but which has a deadline. I need to finish this so it can get in the mail in the next couple of days, since it needs to be in Idaho by the 14th!!

The scarf is for the Special Olympics, and the organizers requested that everyone use the same yarn: Red Heart, in these two specific colors. I had high hopes, but this scarf has definitely been another one of those "learning curve" things.

Oh well. It will get done, and hopefully it will be well received and well loved.

Okay, here come the spoilers.

You are warned.

If you don't want the surprise spoiled, STOP HERE!

First up, the Winter shipment from Year of Lace. The yarn is a lovely very soft merino lace from Fireside Yarns, and the pattern is the Snowdrop Shawl from Nancy Bush.
I think it's going to be very pretty!

Secondly, here's the latest shipment from Melanie at Lotus Yarns, the current Big Ass Yarn Club yarn--a smooshy soft blend of Suri alpaca and merino in a colorway she calls Winter Garden. Love love love!

Okay, that's all the goodies for now. I'm off to get in some couch time and cast on some more projects. I also have located the swift, so if the mood to wind more yarn strikes, I'll be able to do that.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Mission Accomplished!

Herein the tale of a poor little square. Just a simple, 12" by 12" square, in a pretty off-white natural sheepy yarn. A square which proved to me, as if I needed proof, that I am not now and never will be anything but an amateur knitter!

Every year, the nice people of NETA gather for a spa weekend, during which they do a little fund-raising for the Ships Project. This is usually an afghan, made up of squares knitted by the members, joined at a "joining party" and then raffled off.

Well, I'm sure it's no secret that I really want to become a New Englander again someday, so what better way to find knitting buddies than by joining NETA?

And of course, if I'm going to belong, then I need to take part in at least some of the activities. Luckily, knitting a square is an easy one, since the yarn and directions get mailed out anyway so why not to California?

Well, apparently mehitabel in California is doomed this year. I did my square (not as early as I would have liked, but still, it was done) and I had enough yarn.

Then I blocked the puppy. Ummm... 9" x 12" isn't going to do it.
So I waffled, and thought, and finally, on Monday of this week, with the support of Ellen and KnitDevil, I frogged the poor thing. Yesterday, since it was the first day of a new year, and I was feeling horrid anyway, I cast on again, using bigger needles, fewer stitches, and a modification of the same pattern.

Have I mentioned doomed to failure? Part way through, my Bryspun needle came apart. I just picked up the piece to work back and whoops, here's a needle in my hand, and a half-unraveled mess in the other.

Yeah. Have I mentioned that this is not the first time this has happened to me with a Bryspun needle? The previous time was on a train speeding through France, with my Sea Silk Paris scarf on it.
However. I do own more needles, and while I couldn't find an exact match--seems a bamboo 10 and a Bryspun 10 are not the same millimeter match, or something--close enough. Got to the end of the square, started to bind off... 12 stitches from the end. Out of yarn.

Project got put into time-out for the night. This morning, time for some stash diving. Came up with a ball of what might be exactly the same yarn, except of course this wasn't pre-washed-and-blocked-and-then-unraveled.
Big sigh. I figured, at this point, close enough, right? So I undid the bindoff, knit one more row for good luck, and then bound off.
The square is now blocked out to 12" by 12" and is happily, I hope, drying on a winter towel.
I know, it looks awfully loosey-goosey, and I'm hoping that once it's dry it will fluff up a little more.
All I know is that it's going to be on its way to Mona as soon as it's dry enough to travel. Even if I have to take a hair dryer to it! I'm crossing my fingers that the nice folks at NETA will think it's good enough for the afghan.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

First Day of the Year

Welcome, new year! It's been a quiet New Year's Day chez mehitabel, with both D4 and I barking at each other most of the day. We watched the Rose Parade on TV and sorta vegged out on the couch, watching a Biggest Loser marathon. To be exact, there were two of them today, one on Bravo and one on FLN, so for a while we were clicking back and forth between them. Then they kinda got themselves synchronized, and were showing commercials at the same time, so we settled on the FLN one since it was the most recent. We'd missed the last two episodes, so it was good to catch up.

Yes, I do like some reality TV shows. Not the "Real Housewives" kind of thing, but Biggest Loser, Dancing With the Stars, What Not to Wear, and all kinds of Food Network and HGTV stuff. Hey, the dish is new to us. We are still getting caught up on all this sort of thing!

If you want to see lots more adorable photos of Baby New Year, you can check out his mom & dad's Flickr page.

Hopefully, I will be able to update you all tomorrow on my progress on the Feel Like a Floozy knitalong my knit group is having this week. Right now, I'm retreating to the couch and the TV and my cough drops!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

End of the Year

NOTE: Blogger is not letting me upload pictures right now. So there might be a picture post later, but I'm not going to let it stop me from posting. So there, Blogger!!

Last day of the year. It's certainly been a year of changes, of upheavals and disruptions and lots of new things! I was trying to decide if this post should be about the year just past, or if I should use it to look forward to the next year. 2009 certainly promises to have a lot of surprises, and if it follows true to form, not all of them will be pleasant.

And most of them will be things we as individuals have little or no control over. So here's my list of things I want to see happen over the next year, with a little rambling added for auld lang syne!

One of the things I need to get working on is finishing the organizing and setting up of the house. I know it would have been done a long time ago, had it not been for that last fall back in June, which messed me up in a lot of ways. Of course, that could just be a pipe dream; maybe it would still be in the same state it's in. So:

1. the office needs to be organized and set up so that we have a place to do bills, and mail, and use the computer for fun and "work" without blocking off the passageway and without having to spread everything out on the dining room table.

2. the sewing center needs to be set up and organized. This is going to involve organizing and going through both the fabric and yarn stashes, and the button stash as well. Oh yeah...the buttons. Let's not think about those just yet.

3. the garage needs to be organized and cleaned out, too. There are still a lot of boxes out there that have things in them that we're missing--like the platters to the daisy dishes. Twice now, we've had to improvise on carving and serving the turkey, because the platters are still packed. And the Geo. Foreman is still missing, too. As are the bulb and lamp for the floor lamp. My Ott lights work all right, but aesthetically? well, they don't exactly exude "Craftsman" ambience!

4. There's that extra 30 lbs. I'm lugging around. Yeah, it's time for it to go. Not sure how compatible that goal is with the FMS, but we'll have to see.

5. I'm needing to "get out" more, I think. Why do I sit at home, wishing I had a knitting group to go to, when there are groups meeting all over town if I'd just get up and go? Ditto the Friday night quilting. It will be nice to have my own place to sew, but it will be even better to have people to get together with and bounce ideas around with.

There. That's not such an imposing list, after all. I'm going to sign on for Mission: Possible 2009 (on Ravelry) and also take part in the Feel Like a Floozy GKA this week--not so incompatible, really. Casting on several projects is a good way to get started on winnowing down the stash. I just need to remember to "shop stash first" whether it's a quilt or a knitting project. Or crochet.

What's your take on the whole New Year process? Are you planning to do more/less/change? Inquiring minds want to know!