Friday, July 27, 2007

Just a couple more rows . . . .

Am I finished yet? For something like this, it is so hard when to call it done. I suppose I could take the shawl off the needles and onto scrap yarn to try it on more accurately, but that sounds like too much trouble. It isn't like shawl size is especially critical.
What most amazes me is that I am still on the first skein. I was thinking about calling it an end soon, to make sure that I have a little bit more of the yarn left. I have two skeins left of this yarn, and want the extra for swatching. I am thinking a light, lacy tank/shell. . . . I have been doing a lot of thinking/dreaming about new projects. I have been finishing a lot lately, and I feel a case of startitis coming on. Cough, cough.
The shed has been stalled for the last couple weeks. Partly because of money, since we need to save more of it to buy several more supplies, but this isn't as good of an argument as it sounds like. We have plywood, shingles, and tar paper, so he COULD do the roof before more supplies must be purchased. What is a better excuse is that he has been picking up so overtime, which is going to help pay for those new supplies. So he is off the hook.
This morning, I have been a whirlwind. My first appointment isn't until 11 am, so I have been busy at home. Two loads of laundry, boiled chicken breasts to remove the bone, made chicken salad, packed an overnight bag, updated the budget, paid some bills, and tidied up a little. . . all before 9:30 am.
Today, it is all about the whirlwind.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The middle of the middle

I am in the middle of my gray shawl right now. Except, not really. The bummer of a trangular shawl is that even though I am about halfway finished with the desired legnth, because the things gets four stitches wider every other row, I am probalby more like 30% finished with the whole thing. I am sure that there is some math that would give me the actual percentage, but I choose not to be be anal-rentative about the exact numbers. In the picture I also notice that the center line does not look perfectly straight, but I am CERTAIN that is only an error in the photography. Or maybe an optical allusion. Yeah, that's it. A trick of the camera's eye. (Meanwhile, I am drooling over lace weight yarns and complex lacey patterns for my next attempt. Gotta keep your eye on the ball.)

My sweetie is working today, so I did grocery shopping early and spent my morning making homemade soup. Yes, I know this is summertime, but I love this wonderful soup recipe, and who knows the next time he will have Saturday overtime while I have nothing that HAS to be done. Seize the soup. Of course, his kitchen is smaller with less cabinets than my previous one, so my giant stock pots are in storage, and I am forced to make my usual giant pot of soup in two crock pots. So I am doubling the recipe, only to divide it in half between the two pots. Somehow I think I was doing more math that I needed to. Laugh if you want, but I am certain the soup won't taste the same.

What I am not doing today is reading Harry Potter, much as I would like to. I am on the waiting list at the library, and am exercising admirable restraint in not purchasing the book to spent the next 48 hours unmoving on the sofa reading it. I can wait. (Or at least that is what I keep saying to myself.) Somehow, I think I will discover Harry's fate before I get my Raverly invite. Apparently slow on the draw for this (no one ever tells me anything!), there are over 8,000 people on the list ahead of me. At the current rate (so smart of them to have a page to check the list progress) of invites, I should be receiving mine in about, oh, 6 to 12 months, according to my math. See, this is why I hate math.

Today, it is all about the math.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

No pictures needed

No need to post new pictures today, as little visible progress would be detected.

The dove gray shawl looks exactly like it did earlier this week, except a little bigger. It is basically about the size of a hood. That is a lot of rows to go. The discouraging part is that each new row takes just a little longer than the one before it. Then there is that pesky work thing that just cuts into my knitting time.

No noticeable progress on the shed either, but that is not relaly my sweetie's fault. It hass been raining off and on the past couple days. Desperately needed for the lawn, but apparently they still haven't invented a power tool that can be safely operated in the rain. I think there is a whole neglected area of power tool invention, new opportunity for rainy day projects, but that isn't my department.

This makes me want to start a new pair of socks just to have something new to write about, but I remain steadfastly devoted to the gray shawl. I am just loving it's drape and feel, and am having blind faith in the powers of blocking, and can't wait to actually wear it on some crisp fall evening.

Today, it is all about the everlasting middle of the project.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Disposible stitch markers

I solved the little glitch with the gray shawl. Apparently, I hadn't slipped the marker, so it was stuck in the row below, and on the needles. No problem, I snipped the marker, fetched a new one, and went on my merry way. I had to do this once more last night. This is why i don't invest in expensive stitch markers. Apparently, I am slipping impaired.

Still, the shawl is progressing nicely. Very soft. Nicely drapey. And almost big enough to reach around my neck. Hmmmm, the shoulders are quite a bit larger than the neck. I obviously have a ways to go. I am barely started in the first skein, so no worries about running out of yarn. In fact, I am already thinking of what else I can make with the yarn.
My sweetie is still progressing along, though I think the progress has slowed. Shhhh, don't tell him I said that. He finished the siding over the weekend, and the roof plywood is halfway up. We are getting closer and closer to the point where the shed can actually be used (even if some trim sort of stuff will still be undone.) Every time we have to trip over or wander around something in garage, we repeat to ourselves that the shed is almost useable.
Today, it is all about the anxious middle.

Sunday, July 8, 2007


With two finally full-functioning bikes in our possession, my sweetie and I went out on the bikes today. Our first group ride for the summer, our first ride together, his first group ride at all, the day was full of firsts. And we have the sunburns to prove it.

Our American Legion Riders was joining two other Legion posts to sponsor children from an orphanage on a trip to a local amusement park. The kids ride their buses for a couple hours to get to us. (We had to ride 45 miniutes to get to them, but something tells me we had more fun.) They eat lunch, cooked by the wonderful ladies of the Legion Auxillary. We sweat profusely trying to corral 50 bikers and 100 kids into a group photo, and handed over the check funding NEXT year's trip. Then the bikes (accompanied by a police escort) lead the buses through town, and into the entrance of the park. Apparently, in past years, the bike escort has been as big of a hit with the kids at the park itself. After doing our civic duty, the bikers return to the Legion for our lunch, then hang out for a while before proceeding on our merry way. Pictures may take a while, since I was using the last disposable camera leftover from the honeymoon. You know, the kind that you have to go to have developed, AFTER the roll is finished. We are barely halfway through.

On the way home, my darling husband and I took the long way home to stop off at his grandfather's house, to say hello, he said. I personally believe that he just wanted to show off our shiny chromed two-wheeled wedding present. Grandpa used to ride himself, in his younger days, and hadn't seen the Harley yet. Between our two families, we both ride, as did our parents, our grandparents, and assorted uncles. . . Our child are doomed to be uttering from their strollers: "Vroom, vroom, potato, potato." (That is the sound of a Harley engine, for the non-bikers out there.)

With swelling pride at the outpouring of charity I witnessed today, it is with heavy heart that I acknowledge Indiana has sought to limit biker charity. Biker frequently do "poker rides" for charity. We choose a worthy cause, whether something large and organized like MDA or small, local and personal, like benefitting the family of a recently fallen fireman. Plan a route, set a date, and hope it doesn't rain. The rides include five stops, when each rider picks a card to form a poker hand. Highest hand at the end of the night wins cash, which is frequently donated in part or in whole back to the charity. It is an enjoyable day to benefit charity, and you have a one in several hundred chance of winning some money. . . .and as of July 1st, the State of Indiana has determined that this is illegal gamlbing and outlawed poken rides. Neglected and abused children cases are doubling every three years, real issues could be considered, and the State chose to prevent charity poker rides. I am so proud. Are there any other forms of cahrity to stomp out? Does everyone in the Indiana legislature think that all bikers are a pack of local "Hells Angels" drug-dealing, hell-raising type of people? Don't they realize that we are good people as normal as any of your neighbors, who happen to ride two wheels instead of four as we try to live our lives, raise our children, salute our flag, and try to make the world just a tiny bit better than when we entered it?

Today, it is all about the pride. . . . and the shame.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Instant Gratification

I have been knitting with microscopicly thin sock yarn for so long, I have forgotten about the instant gratification found in chunky yarn. Just a few days ago, this was little skeins of yarn. Now look at it. Two mere sleeves away from a toddler sweater. And I was chiding myself for starting this a mere couple weeks before a 1st birthday party. Two days of knitting. 4 rows to the inch. Take that, knitting deadline!
And while I was digging around in the stash anyway, I also unearthed a sweater for myself. This one has been in progress for a couple years, I think. All it needs is sleeves, which I have started and ripped out several times. I loved the colors and texture in this yarn, so didn't want any kind of pattern to compete with it. So I just wanted a classic sweater, which I couldn't find. So with the hubris that only an advanced beginning knitter can understand, I took an existing sweater, put it on Lizzie (my dressmaker's dummie), and used it for a model, shaping as I went. All good, until I got to the sleeves, which giddy from my successes I decided to do top down, set-in sleeves, before I even knew how to do short-rows, mind you.
Well, the good news is that I THINK (famous last works) I have finally found the correct formula to pick up and decrease for fitted set-in sleeves. Now I just have to keep decreasing appropriately, and create the twin sleeve, which would require remembering what I did the first time. I am bound to get it right eventually, right?
Socks? Shawl? I don't know what you mean. I don't remember any socks.
Today it is all about the sleeves.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Birthday America!!!

The mid-week celebration of the 4th is somewhat of a bummer. Both of us have to work early tomorrow morning, so staying up late enough for fireworks isn't as easy as it sounds. It doesn't get dark until nearly 10, and then there is the show, and the traffic getting out. . . . 6 am comes pretty early, and my sweetie has to be at work before then. Poor lamb.

I am still stalled on my dove gray shawl and Pomotomus sock. Not that I think the problems are unsolvable. I sure it is just a matter of looking hard at my stitche patterns, count a few times, and make a relatively simple correction. I just haven't sat down to do it yet. I will. I love the Pomotomus sock, and just the other day my sweetie stroked the shawl and commented on how soft it is. (I have a mental picture involving the shawl and. . . . well, the rest doesn't need to be posted for public consumption. We ARE newlyweds. Suffice to say I just came up with new motivation to work on that shawl.)

For now, my solution to these stalled projects. . . is to start something new, of course. I started on the socks for my mother. I was thinking about doing some rear increases up the leg, to custom fit my mom's ankle and calf. Something fancy, but nooooooo. Mom wants plain boring socks with a cuff that can fold down. I tried to convince her of the magic of hand knit socks made to your dimensions, but I am amking what Mom wants. It is a little frustrating that an artist must defer to the purchaser. But I do want Mom to feel comfortable and wear these socks, so I defer. Maybe the next pair.

As a break from itty bitty sock yarn and needles, I also started this: a toddler's sweater. I realized that a friend of ours has a baby turning one at the end of the month. I haven't knit anything for her since she was born. How time sneaks up on you! So I started a sweater, hoping to get it done in time. I had forgotten how quickly size 10 needles moves along. Look at that! Halfway through the body in one night! Still on my first ball of yarn, too. I have 5 (found in the clearance bin), so I will probably have enough to make a second toddler's sweater in the future.

And lest anyone thinks that my sweetie has been slacking. . . The shed is starting to close in on itself. Back siding, and studs on the top triangle near the roof (I am sure that area has some sort of a name), so that can get siding too. He keeps talking about getting the roof plywood "soon", whenever that is.
I just noticed that no one (read: me) has made the bed yet, and I am just itching to fly along more on that little sweater.
Today, it is all about the patriotic birthday.