Saturday, May 29, 2010

UM...Skew May


I think this month needs to be over. Skew it, I say. Oh, well, I do have a nifty new pair of socks.

Cream :: Whipped
Be with you :: Always
Pancakes :: Eggs
Believe :: In You
45 :: RPM
Eat :: Chocolate
Background :: Check
Pane :: Window
Aim :: Fire
Collapse :: Exhaustion

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ten on Tuesday: Telephone Trouble Edition

I could surely go for some of those Ten Favorite Cookout Foods today.

Corn on the Cob
Homemade Ice Cream
Potato Salad
Picnic Eggs (old joke from church--you might know these as deviled eggs)
Potato Chips and French Onion Dip
Pistachio Salad
Coconut Cake
Strawberries and Pound Cake (maybe with a little whipped cream, too)

I am ready to rip the phone out of the wall and throw it out the door. It is quite close to voting day for the primaries. That means about six computerized messages and polls daily. They fill our answering machine when we are gone and disrupt whatever we are doing while at home. Today, however, has had an added bonus. It is a sweepstakes scam.
The claim is that I am the third price winner of 2010 for paying my monthly bills on time. No fewer than five times did the same individual called within about a 90-minute period. The attempts were laughable, and if they were not so numerous, I would be laughing right now. I did chuckle on the inside picturing Hermes Conrad as the person on the other end. No, I am not going to my local mega-mart to wire money to the islands where an agent will take care of my percentages so I can get my claim receipt which I would give to a waiting UPS car that would deliver my bonus prize basket and check for 1.5 million, nor will I be attempting to cash a check at a banking establishment that has no branches in this area. My telephone service provider's response was an attempt to sell me additional features.

I think I might refuse to answer the phone for at least the rest of today, or possibly the week. For now, I am going to relax to the soothing aroma of baking bread, drink some nice tea, and maybe even finish a pair of socks.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Kneadless to Say

BreadAndBitterrootI have been having fun playing with my new book, Kneadlessly Simple by Nancy Baggett. I have already tried out the Country Fair White and Great Granola Breakfast breads from it. Since a few other people were interested to try the new bread, the once fresh, full loaves are now sad and small. I guess it is time to get another batch of dough going.

In between batches of bread, I finished knitting Bitterroot. All that remains is the blocking, and that has to wait for now. We have The Conjunctivitis Cowboy staying with us for a little bit. He hopes to be well enough to return to school in time for Fun Friday.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Not Quite One Year Later

When last we saw our Azalea Vintage Cardigan, its fate was in question. Would it go to live with someone else? Could I find a solution to make it work for me? Would it return to stash form? Would it really be cut into pieces and then burned? Since I was much closer to cutting and burning, I set it aside. When I put it a few days later, it fit. How? That is a mystery, but a happy one.
While I wondered whether it might turn back into an odd, unwearable piece within a week, I decided to believe I had a victory, and worked on it a bit more. I was not super-pleased with the neckline. I had worked crocheted slip stitches around, but it needed more. I considered adding a picot finish, but rejected that idea after a bit of experimentation. Then I thought about the rolled stockinette others had done, but I just was not feeling that, either. The pattern calls for working i-cord and then sewing it to the cardigan, and just thinking about doing that was draining my will to live. Still, i-cord is a nice finish, so I decided to do applied i-cord. I did not even have to think about the rate of picking up stitches because of the crochet finish I had already worked. A little while later, it was finished with the exception of buttons.

I got out my button stash and tried out styles. The coconut shell ones would have been perfect if they were smaller. Then there were the pearly ones that looked so nice, but were too small. The wooden ones really called to me, but would not fit, either. I found another set of pearly buttons that seemed perfect, but I did not have enough. So, it seemed it would need to wait for a trip to the store.
The next time I went out and found myself near a Hancock Fabrics, I did not have the cardigan with me, but I did not let that stop me. The wall of buttons mesmerized me, and it took me a while to notice that they were on sale for 50% off the regular price. It did not take long to find several styles that I wanted for future knitting, as well as some possibilities for my GVC.
Then it was time to repeat the process of trying to make a match between the nearly finished cardigan and the new buttons. If I were really into having a bunch of kitty faces on my sweater, I could have stopped looking almost immediately. They actually looked nice, but it is not the look I was going for with this project, and those were purchased for future knitting. Anyway, as I worked to find just the right buttons to work with this, I picked up the wooden set from the stash again, and now they fit. I really do not know how to explain any of it.

After I sewed on the buttons, it was time for the photo shoot. After about fifty pictures I decided that if none of them were good, it was not likely I would ever get a nice photo. Once I had them all loaded to the computer, it was interesting to see how really dreadful this nice sweater could look. Then there were the shots where the sweater looked fine, but I had a horribly pained (or irritated, angry, annoyed, bored, confused, or out-of-touch) expression on my face, or a ray of sun was shining on me in an unfortunate way, or the body-image-issues-gremlins tried to ruin everything.
While just short of a year is a rather sorry start-to-finish time for a cardigan, I am pleased that it is finished, and that it fits. We even had some of that cooler-than-average weather over the weekend, which gave me several opportunities to wear my new sweater. I still have mixed feelings about it after some of the ups-and-downs I had with it, but I am thinking about calling it a win.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I Love the Sounds of Random on a Wednesday

Like dried peas in a goose windpipe within a ball of yarn (see Folk Mittens for details), so are the Randoms of Our Wednesdays.

I remember Cookie got the idea from someone else to show off a purchase of the week. When we were out-of-town over the weekend, I found this on clearance and felt compelled to buy it. Yes, it is Bacon Floss. The package states that it effectively removes plaque and leaves breath bacon fresh. For some reason, I feel that I ought to use a picture of this product as my Ravatar.

There is a certain amount of spinach one ought not exceed consuming within a short period of time. I do not know the exact amount, but it is something less than what I have eaten lately. Also, purchasing spinach from Costco is probably better suited to larger households.

I occasionally feel great anxiety over Facebook, and thus resisted signing up for an account. It is all rather odd and difficult to describe. I have worked my way through most of the issues that held me back, and decided to let it be to keep from the time-suck aspect. On the other hand, that Farmville sounds fun, so last week I registered under the pseudonym, Insaknitty Gumbo. It is the name I think I should have chosen for my blog, but I did not think of it then. Anyway, it would seem that Farmville requires neighbors, and that does not thrill me, so I decided to see how much I would like playing on my own. I was about over it when I got a friend request from someone I do not know. She is a knitter. I do not know what prompted her to FBfriend me, but she did, and I accepted. Well, I was about to be done with it when I received a friend request from someone I actually know and with whom I want to stay in contact. My experiences confirm that it is all a bit creepy and I am not sure what I will do. I could sign up with my actual name and play FB for real, I could dump it all and walk away, or I could just keep going on as Insaknitty Gumbo.

We are gardening again, and Bruce feels a bit more hopeful about it this year. There is so much we would like to grow, space and conditions do not allow for all of it, but we are trying. Also, at some
point, we could cross the line where we have made more work for ourselves than we can handle, and that balance can be difficult to find. I have been putting out marigolds, and usually one of two songs run through my head when I do though I doubt anyone will be able to guess. After all, no one figured out that knitting Ice Queen made "Rocket Queen" by Guns 'n' Roses or "50ft Queenie" by PJ Harvey go wild in my brain, though there were some good guesses. Anyway, as for the marigold songs, for one I mentally replace the correct word with "marigold," thus making it something of a parody, I suppose. As for the other, it is not an upbeat, encouraging song. Perhaps if you know these answers, Bitterroot belongs to you, as she has been telling me that she is probably not mine, but is unsure whose she is.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Bursting Box

Recently, Marcia had a contest over at The Attic, and I was the winner. She put together a wonderfully generous package, and I am already enjoying the contents. There was not enough room in the photo to show all of the lovely Shetland fiber. I cannot wait to start spinning it. The colors of the sock yarns are so bright and fun. Since my Skew socks are going so well, it gives me hope that I might knit more socks in the not-too-distant future. The purple Border Leicester/Angelina yarn has been whispering that it is going to become a new scarf for me, and that I should start looking at patterns right away.

Starting the lovely Shetland fiber has waited patiently while I finished spinning the alpaca for Bitterroot. I went ahead and spun the rest of the pile of alpaca fiber, and it gave me a chance to use the fancy new orifice hook that was also in the prize package. Right now, the hook is resting in that cute little basket and hanging from my wheel, just waiting for me push everything aside to spin some more.