Friday, October 17, 2014

Avoiding Monkey Limbs...

MonkeyBodiesAndTails
...in the form of battling start-itis.  Yeah, The good news is that I have the bodies and tails of a couple of monkeys for the babies finished, and that is nice progress.  However, for now, I am having trouble getting myself to sit down and work on the arms and legs.  Ah, it will be all right, just as long as I can stop myself from giving in to those start-itis urges.  

I do have wonderful justifications for each of the potential projects.      

  • Doorstop Chicken--We could really use one for the front door when Bruce wants to prop it open, and it is adorable
  • Tea Cozy--I do not have one, the weather is changing, and they are so pretty
  • French Press Cozy--Again, I do not have one, the changing weather, and the pretty
  • Bender/Nibbler, Guardian of the Bum Fodder--Really, I do not need more justification than that, but also, our home has two bathrooms, and neither has much for storage room 
  • Slippers--My current pair is in need of replacing, and while these would not be the slippers I would wear full time, (my annual new pair of slippers has returned to Costco, so I will probably buy them next month or get them for Christmas) these would still be great to have in the rotation and for snuggling up on the couch, or while weaving, or really, just whenever, because after all, the weather is changing.
I have the patterns for all of these projects, and I probably have the yarn for all of them, (maybe not for the tp cozies, but probably) and they are all totally practical, right?  Ah, but I am not casting on for any of them.  I will settle down to finish the monkeys soon.  I may just need to find the right Netflix marathon pairing.  Oooh, brilliant idea:  knitting-pattern-Netflix-marathon-pairing-algorithm.  You're welcome.  

There is no real need to worry that I will abandon the current monkeys, Celestarium (making very nice progress on that edging), or other gift projects in pursuit of any of the above right now.  I kind of got over it while I spent some time nurturing hurt feelings/grieving/processing a difficult situation.  While that is not a good pattern to get into, and I need to be careful about such things, occasionally, there is a time and place for it, and it might involve whiny music and circus peanuts.    

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Coming Out of the Dark

Well, Stacey certainly had it right when she commented on the darkness of the yarn for my Celestarium.  It is not a project I work on in low-light settings or when my eyes are tired, but I think it will all be worth it when I am done.  I am hoping to finish it by the end of the month, but that is not a deadline.  However, I do have some deadlines approaching, so I am trying to keep going on those projects.  I call myself over 50% done with the Christmas knitting, but I cannot rest on those accomplishments.  

Besides Christmas knitting, I have decided to take on making things for a couple of birthdays.  I have almost completed sewing a blanket for Eva's first birthday next month, and I am weaving a blanket for Katie's birthday in December.  As it has been National Spinning and Weaving Week, it seemed the perfect time to get the yarn on the loom for her blanket.  
BrightYarns
I didn't quite need sunglasses for this, but almost.  I think it should turn out to be interesting and something she will really love.  The blanket will be two woven panels sewn together, so it should be a nice size for her.  I have some ideas for adding some visual and textural interest beyond the bumpity yarn, but I have not decided anything just yet.  For now, I am just glad to have the loom set up and ready to weave.  

It is so nice to have a room for crafting, especially when it comes to weaving.  I could get started on it without worrying about being in the way of anything else, and being able to stop and come back to it if needed and it not being an issue.  

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Stars in My Eyes

That sounds a lot nicer than saying I see the charts for Celestarium in my sleep, doesn't it?  It is also a better topic than my recent navel-gazing.  I've been trying to figure out what I want to do about blogging.  Short answer--I want the experience to be better, so I am going to work to do better.  That starts with being more active, and if that means shorter posts and more in-progress photos, so be it.  You can also look forward to the return of my reading and commenting.  I have checked in here and there and keep everyone in my thoughts and prayers.  

Anyway, we were talking about Celestarium, right?  Well, that is something nice to talk about, because I have finished the body of shawl.  That's right, I have beaded my last bead.  I got out a pile of lace books and looked at edgings until I found the one I think I want to use.  It is from Heirloom Knitting by Sharon Miller, and Wave Lace seems like it should be nice.     CelestariumAndProspectiveEdging

Monday, September 01, 2014

Sorrry, I Was Looking at Sweater Patterns

Lately, I have heard many complaints about the weather.  For some, it has been an early return of autumn, and for others, the burning resurgence of summer.  Whatever your weather whine, I think we can all agree it is because I have been looking at sweater patterns, cardigans, actually.  I have also been making decent progress on knitting Christmas presents, and we all know that does not help things.  

However, since the damage is already done, I am opening the floor to suggestions for lightweight cardigan patterns, even down to laceweight.  In fact, I think I might want to focus mostly on laceweight.  I think maybe nothing in the negative ease department because I want a looser feel and do not like things stuck in my armpits.  

I do not have any pictures of the current knitting, so we'll close out the unofficial end of summer with two pictures from the 4th of July.  Hope you have been having a lovely long weekend if it was available to you, or have been watching EverySimpsonsEver whenever possible.  


      

Monday, August 18, 2014

Remedying a Lack of Refrigerator Magnets

GetWellAndBirthdayRefrigeratorMagnetsForTaki
Because what else is there to do while you have too many caregivers for one patient?  A tonsillectomy etc for the son really did not require for so many of us to spend so much time at his home, but we did.  There really was a limit to how much Shark Week and Headline News and accompanying commentary I could stand while the boy slept.  Did I mention that he is thirty-two, and completely capable of caring for himself?  We could tell he was ready for some time to himself by the time we all left.  

In addition to Taki's surgical adventure, we have had a great deal of other life stuff in the mix.  From babies to big kids, and from animals to other mostly routine medical stuff, we have been more than a little busy and preoccupied.  Of course, that is the stuff of life, and we are all hanging in there. 

That has not left much time or concentration for Celestarium, so I knit these tiny refrigerator magnets for Taki.  I liked knitting them, they were a nice distraction, and were not too demanding.  When I was able to knit the last three in one day, I knew it was time to be home.  That being said, we will be back to help him a bit this week, but really, only as much as he needs.  We will see how well he does with a ride in the car and a trip to the store and take things from there.  

This week looks to be another big one, and I am going to do my best to take it a day at a time at most.  I hope everyone else has a good week.  What are you all up to these days?                

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tour Time

Well, the Tour de Fleece has been great for helping me get back to my spinning.  I finished spinning the green fluff I started last year.  The spinning went well, and the dye that transferred to my fingers and hands as I spun let me know that finishing the yarn was going to take eleventy-bazillion rinse cycles.  Actually, it took a few more than that, but I like the finished yarn, so it was worth it.  This is a three-ply, and the fiber is superwash merino.  I know superwash can be a bit of a coin toss, but I like this.    
FatCatIceCreamThreePlyGrinchy
At a certain point I felt like I was never going to finish, and my Celestarium was sitting at about 33% completion.  So, I decided to get something tiny on the needles, and now I have a little fat cat and ice cream cone magnets for the refrigerator.  

I guess I will take a dive into the fiber bins and see what wants to be spun next.  I suppose it would be helpful if I found my little scale so I can better divide the fluff, but I won't let that hold me back from getting something on the wheel.  I haven't really given much thought to what I will spin next, but I know the stash holds many wonderful possibilities.  

I hope you are all having a joyful July and your time on the Tour has been smooth.    

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I Remember It Like It Was Interesting

Sure, there are plenty of stories I could tell about our recent adventures, and while they were full of drama and emotion over here, they would likely be very boring to read.  So, how about we go for a quick recap?  Sprinkle emotional/physical strain/drain/breakdowns throughout, and we have:  look at lots of houses, offers and counteroffers, mortgage stuff, boxes, real estate peoples, final steps, packing, gonna happen/not gonna happen, plumbing, final-final steps, lawyers, not gonna happen/gonna happen, closing, trucks, moving, plumbers, cable/phone/internet/contractors, air conditioning, house-sitting, babysitting, plumbing, unpacking, setting up, organizing, the crud, and life.  Yep, it really happened, and we are now in our new (to us) house.  Really, that is what is important.  Sometimes the difficulties did their best to overshadow the goodness of getting this place.  We have lots to do to settle in and make this house our home, and of course, there are always home maintenance and repair tasks to attend to, but it is good.  


It comes as no surprise that this process offers many opportunities to evaluate many areas of life--finances, what kind of home we want to have, the value of "stuff" and all of that, wants vs needs, etc.  It also showed me a lot about people and relationships.  I discovered some people who are more in our corner than I knew, and a greater closeness in our family than one might guess.  That has been wonderful, and it continues to warm my heart, encourage me, and steady me when I am feeling shaky.  Of course, it has not been all rainbows and unicorns and hugs.  Although these small amounts of somewhat negative feelings ranged from unpleasant to sad to alternately annoyed and chuckling bemusement, they cannot compare to the good.  I discovered some people who I thought were ready to be there for us are not in that place.  I discovered a few people do not hold us in much esteem, and that has caused me to consider why these relationships exist.  Let me see if I can explain.  The typical response to learning someone has become a new homeowner would be to congratulate and if you see the house to say something complimentary, right?  That is mostly what we encountered, but then there were those few others.  The ones with their backhanded compliments, who said they were surprised the house wasn't as bad as they imagined, or said that if we could get a house they are going to get a nicer one or maybe buy a couple and flip them, or wondered aloud just how we were able to get a house, or asked for the nickel tour and spent it pointing out any flaw or maintenance needed.  Then there were the comments and looks that saddened me, but more for them than me.  Apparently, we have some people in our life who, well, it would be grandiose to say they keep us around to feel better about themselves, but clearly, they feel at least a twinge of discomfort for us to experience this sort of improvement in our circumstances.  Oh, well, that sort of thing is just so odd to me.  

Speaking of people and relationships, I have been poking in here and there keeping up with you all as best as I could.  I know many of you have had a lot going on--major life changes, death and loss, illness and injury, sadnesses and worries, and I have kept you all in thought and prayer.  I have also cheered for the successes, and oohed and aahed over the things you have been making and growing.  I have also missed out on a lot, and I hope to get back into the swing of reading and commenting, emailing, and blogging.  There is a lot of new in my life, and it is challenging for me to establish a new routine, but I am working on it.  I have missed everyone.  Thank you for hanging in there with me.