Saturday, January 18, 2014

And I thought eight months was a long hiatus.

Try four years.

And I thought a lot had happened in eight months! Well, let's see. About four months after my last post, I met a guy.

And three hundred sixteen days after we met, this happened.

A year after that, almost exactly down to the moment we said "I do," we had this picture.

Yup! I'm a wife and a mommy now! Our little boy ("Bug") is now fourteen months old and SO STINKING CUTE. Not that I'm biased or anything. I have to say, being a mom is definitely the hardest thing I've ever done, but it's also the most important. God has really blessed me with a wonderful family.

Other significant events in the last four years include:
going to Jordan to meet my now-in-laws
going to Ireland on our honeymoon (I'm convinced there is not a bad view in the country)
watching my baby brother say "I do" to the girl he'd been dating for six years (FINALLY!!!)
having a research experiment I ran be the cover picture of a scientific journal
going to Canada for my sister-in-law's wedding

So, knitting.

I had way more time to knit when I was working in the research lab than I do as a stay-at-home mom. In the lab, I would often have days where I had absolutely nothing to do. (Of course, then the next week I'd be there until 9 or later.) So I got a LOT of knitting done - I once finished three sweaters in a month! Now I'm doing more kid knitting, so the projects are a lot smaller, and I'm doing well to finish a sweater in two months. My projects at the moment include a hat out of Malabrigo Rastita in Indiecita (love this color!) and the Great American Aran Afghan in Plymouth Encore. This is my Mount Everest project. Why knit it? Because it's THERE. And it's fun so far. I finished my first square today (thank you, Bug, for naptime!), and it's the perfect mix of near-instant gratification (I think it took a week or less) and intense concentration (I'm looking at you, "increase 28 sts evenly across the row of 48 sts").

I don't know if I'll keep this up, but I felt like updating my blog today. Unfinished e-projects bug me as much as unfinished "real world" ones.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

It's been a while.

And by "a while," I mean about eight months. Wow. A lot has happened in that eight months!

On the personal front...

1. I bought my first home. Kind of scary, but good at the same time. Now I can put yarn WHEREVER I WANT!!! Of course, a mortgage cuts into the yarn budget a bit, but the feat of moving all my yarn convicted me a bit of how much yarn I actually have. Quite a bit - including a bunch that I'd forgotten.

2. I survived my first blizzard! Oklahoma got slammed with an honest-to-goodness blizzard on Christmas Eve. Thankfully, none of us was hurt, although my dad did have to spend Christmas Eve in a Best Western. But not-at-Christmas-Eve Dad beats injured Dad any day.

(can you see where the street's supposed to be? Yeah, neither could we - or anyone else.)

3. I became a momma to two furry boys - Gus (the long-haired one) and Bertie (the short-haired one). They came home from the kitty rescue at the beginning of December. They have got to be the most clever and loving cats I've ever met - but they also love playing with my yarn. If I turn my back for more than about five seconds, they've dragged something around the house for me to wind back up. Last week, they took a nice tidy ball of Baruffa Cashwool (1,400 yards of laceweight wool) and wove it through the foot board of my bed. That night, they also opened up (I kid you not, I counted!) 169 tabs of Firefox help. They've also figured out how to open a find window in Firefox and knock over the recliner (onto the tile floor in the middle of the night).

On the knitting front...

1. I had the incredible opportunity to test knit several patterns - three for friends, and one for a yarn company.

First up:
Tamarack, by Amy Duncan

This is a super-cute hat from less than a skein of Malabrigo. It comes in a more-slouchy and less-slouchy version, and I knit the less-slouchy, which was perfect for me. The pattern is fast and entertaining, and I get lots of compliments when I wear it - which is often, this winter!

Clothilde, by Kristen Hanley Cardozo

This is a simple but gorgeous shawl from less than a skein of Malabrigo sock yarn. I used the Solis colorway, which is the most beautiful vivid blue-green colorway I've ever seen. Every once in a while, I would have to stop and admire the colors! The pattern is stunning.

Goes, by Melissa Leapman

This is a test-knit from Malabrigo Book Two. (Is anyone else noticing a pattern with my yarn choices?) It was my first seamed sweater, and I have to say, seaming is rather...painless, surprisingly. (Malabrigo PSA: If you don't know if you'd want a sweater from Malabrigo worsted, think of this: you know how soft and fuzzy a sweatshirt is when you put it on for the first time? That's a Malabrigo sweater - forever. Mmm...warm and cozy, yet not stifling.)

Mythica, by Beverly S.

This vest had lots of firsts - first vest, first applied i-cord, first grafting cables...all of which were very clearly spelled out in the directions. It's a very flattering pattern - I knit a size with about 3" of negative ease, and it looks great! (Modeled pictures will be forthcoming when I get a mirror. Did I mention that my cats broke my one long mirror?)

2. I have knit lots of socks. Socks, socks, and more socks. I love my knitted socks! Everyone should knit socks! (Not that I'm obsessed or anything.)
Vilai by Cookie A., in Jojoland Melody Superwash

Basket Check Socks by Charlene Schurch, in Mountain Colors Bearfoot, Tamarack colorway. (I've been drooling over this yarn for years, since the first time I visited the Gourmet Yarn Company. The colors glow like an oil painting!)

Friday, May 08, 2009

Not dead yet

I'm not dead.  My computer, on the other hand...R.I.P. little laptop.  You served me faithfully for six years, needing only a hard drive and CD drive change three years ago.  But alas, it is cheaper to replace you with a desktop than to kit you out again.

My new computer should be here today (!!!!!!), and boy, do I have some fun new toys to show all  three or so of you who read this!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

In which I learn some things

Lessons from knitting:
1. Negative ease can be my friend. Being 5'3" means even size small sweaters sometimes swamp me. (Alliteration is, apparently, also my friend.)
2. Short-row bust shaping is also my friend, even if it means putting a mauve stripe where I would just as soon not have a mauve stripe. (If I had to do it again, I'd start the short rows as soon as I took off the stitches for the sleeves and use two balls of yarn to avoid the giant mauve stripe.)
Pattern: Wicked (although I misplaced the pattern halfway through, hence the not-quite-matching sleeve widths that I need to redo)
Yarn: Patons Soy Wool Stripes in Natural Earth - about 770 yards (!)
Needles: US 7
3. Entrelac is a little bit like magic, especially with striping yarn.
Pattern: Quant
Yarn: a partial ball of Noro Silk Garden, color 226 (I think) that I got in a guild swap
Needles: US 5, because this pattern makes a pretty big headband

4. Yarn makes a great Christmas present; so do gift cards to purchase yarn.
From the top: 5 skeins of Malabrigo worsted in black, 5 skeins of Malabrigo worsted in apple green (thank you, Uncle D and Aunt S for the gift card!), 2 skeins of Plymouth Happy Feet in a red/brown multi that will be great for non-stockinette socks, 1 (of 2) skeins of Plymouth Happy Feet in a blue/green/red multi that is more muted than the colors suggest (thank you, Grandmother!)

5. If you give your sister a coupon for hand-knit socks for Christmas, she will pick out a) your favorite yarn from your stash, b) the lightest-weight (and therefore longest-to-knit) sock yarn, and c) a pattern prone to dropping stitches and yarn that, when dropped, will run approximately 1 inch per second. Oh well. It'll be an adventure. Fearless Knitting, right?
Yarn: Actual Size Creations in Rorschach
Pattern: Conwy, from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road (at least I've made these before, so it's going pretty quickly)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The pretty, the cute, and the pointy objects

I promised you pretty. Here is the pretty!

This is a scarf knitted from the edging unraveled from a cashmere/silk blend thrift store sweater. The pattern is a basic lily of the valley lace pattern, but I replaced the nupps with the beads. They're sort of a dark jewel-toned rainbow assortment. I love it!

Now, some cute. Remember me writing about Eight Ball the llama? Well, when he was sheared this summer, I brought back the fleece to give to some spinners from the knitting guild. Anna was kind enough to give me a bit of two-ply yarn from my buddy the llama, and so I knit it into a wee sock ornament to give to my grandmother for Christmas. I crocheted a little snowflake and sewed it on to give it a bit more decorative feel. I think it's pretty cute. I hope Grandmother likes it!

Today, I got off work a couple hours early, and I went thrift shopping. I really lucked out at one of the stores. These antique knitting needles were only 49 cents! There are four nine-inch size 17 (1.4 mm, also known to US knitters as 000) needles. I wonder who used to knit with them. Whoever used them must have had super-sturdy hands, because these puppies are SHARP.

Friday, December 05, 2008

For pretty

About two years ago, my grandmother gave me two teapots for my birthday. One was delicately ornamented blue and white bit of hand-painted china. It looked like something that Elizabeth Bennett would have used to pour Mr. Darcy a cup of Earl Grey. Grandmother had taped a note on it that said, "For pretty."

The other was a solid tan and brown teapot. It isn't the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, but somehow it's endearing in its relative plainness. Its note said, "For everyday." And I do use it almost every day.

I've realized that most of my knitting lately has been in the "For everyday" category. I've been knitting to stay warm, especially since until this evening, I had no heat in my car. And in case you were wondering, 26 degrees is COLD. I've been coming home with stiff, numb hands every night, even with gloves. On the plus side, having a cold car gives me an opportunity to wear more of my hand-knits - almost all of them. Simultaneously. On the con side, I haven't been knitting as much "For pretty." So that needed to change. It's blocking right now. Here's a snippet.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A polite request

To: The gnomes that live in my room and hide my stuff
From: A frustrated knitter

Dear Sir/Madam/Top Gnome/Whatever:
It has come to my attention that you have apprehended the knitting pattern I was about to start. Normally, this would have been tolerated for a few days. Yes, there are certainly other things I could knit. I understand that the holidays are upon us, and work is especially rushed and stressful. But was that really necessary just when I finally got gauge with my lovely yarn? I respectfully request that you GIVE IT BACK ALREADY.

The human whose room this in fact IS, and don't you forget it!

Postscript, several hours later:
AHA! Thought you were clever, did you, hiding that pattern behind the books? In the future, please limit your scavenging activity to the pile of Red Heart Ickrylic in the far corner of the closet.

The Management.