Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Good bye, May.

I hated this past month. Maybe because I was sick for most of it, I dunno. And it wasn't sick, sick, it was that halfway I-don't-feel-good sort of thing that's so damn annoying. But anyway, good riddance.

This is where I usually go over what I've done, and what I want to do next month. So I've flipped through the back posts of the old blog to see what happened. (Useful thing, a blog. I'd never have imagined. But then I'm the woman who couldn't remember her own wedding date when asked this week - I got the year AND the day wrong.)

In a way it was good to look back because I got more done than I thought - I didn't even remember knitting the brown scarf. (Scarves are like potato chips. You go through them so fast you loose track.) The Deco Bag got done, felted, and the pattern posted, though it hasn't been put in the mail yet. I also trashed Georgina (remember the yellow baby sweater with the blue spots?) and the French Market Bag (the bowling ball cozy?). And I ditched the idea of doing Persian Poppies. (At least right now. Eventually I WILL CONQUER THE FREAKING POPPIES!!)


I started the Tomten jacket, and it is waiting for more yarn (oh, the irony) which I will order tomorrow. I also surprised myself by knitting that swirl afghan square and thinking it was easy, so I need to knit a few (nine) more of those...

The damn doily is slow going, I've still got six rows to go and the crochet cast-off. It will be finished this week, and we'll call it a blue, Project Spectrum project for June and act like I planned it all. Pretend to be impressed.

You know, that's not really a bad tally for a month of knitting (especially if you figure in the stuff I knit and threw away). I'm glad I decided to do this post after all; I feel better.

As for June... forget the plans, nothing ever works out anyway. I got a pile of yarn in the mail for my father-in-law's Christmas present, and should be working on that, but we'll see. (It's in fairly heavy Icelandic wool, and I suspect I won't be able to knit on it too long at any one time without it bothering my hands.) During tomorrow's great Yarn Ordering Marathon (whee!) I'll be ordering sock yarn. Who knows. By the end of June I may decide to knit socks for everyone for Christmas. I hear sock knitting is kind of addictive. Maybe it'll take the place of chocolate. (Insert hysterical laughter here.)

Monday, May 29, 2006

There are no words.

My child was caught trying to teethe on her father's toes tonight. I'll spare you a description of his feet, but to say I am grossed out is a vast understatment. Other than "EEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWW!", I am completely speechless. Eeew.

The damn doily has devolved into something taking over an hour per round of persnickety purls and yarnovers and knits. (Ever tried a knit, yarnover, purl sequence with thread on size two needles? It blows.) At this point, I'm thinking I string this out for two, three more days, and I can call it a Project Spectrum deal for June. Sounds good to me. No speed records set on this one.

We spent the weekend vegetating around the house. It was quite pleasant, and I hope everyone else had as nice a holiday.

Mister Bunbun says, back to work!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Remind me to never knit this again.

As long as I live.

By yesterday, I had hit the stage of the damn doily where I was taking off triple yarnovers with one stitch, and it was looking like what the uninitiated think lace knitting should look like - with wild loops of thread sticking out all over the place. Those of us who know what we're doing shudder at the sight and try not to shriek too loudly.

At that stage I entered into a phase of the project I call "Blindly follow the directions and pray". (Taking off an 11x yarnover with eleven knit-in-back stitches was quite a good time, too. That round only took me an hour. One. Round. An hour.) By this evening, I had come out the other side, and had gotten the whole thing onto a circular needle, so that I could both see what in heck I was doing, and not have to 'turn corners' (my term for changing from one double-point to another) any longer. This is what I've got, as of right now:

See those huge columns of faggoting, running like spokes? That's why I had to re-start it three times; I'd drop a stitch into there, it'd run down to China, never to be seen again, and I'd give up and start over.

There is not one, single, plain-knit row in this entire doily. One row lace. I musta been out of my mind.

Oh, and the whole process was helped along immensely by THIS:

At any rate, I'm at round 42 of 56, and it MIGHT be done by Tuesday, though not blocked. And I can start on something, I don't know, LESS INSANE.

I'm thinking June may be the month of blue socks. I've never knit socks, but this doily has been rather motivational - they can't be harder than this. Right? Right?

Friday, May 26, 2006

Third time better be the @#(*#@ charm.

Yes, I have started the damn doily AGAIN. That makes it three. I'd show you another picture, but after re-starting I'm only two rows ahead of where I was yesterday - only on a whole other doily. I've said it once, and I'll say it again: Knitting + Painkillers = Bad. It all went swimmingly last night while I was knitting, but when I got up this morning, and tried to knit another round, I spent an hour going "WTF IS THIS??" and picking out stitches before I realized it was taking more time than simply re-knitting would.

So here we are. Again. If something else goes wrong and it looks like another re-start, I swear I'm sending my friend a box of pralines and saying to hell with the whole idea. This is SO my mother's fault for raising me to be a nice person.

My idiotic choice of one-row lace has nothing to do with it.

Remember the new tomb in the Valley of the Kings? Well. Discover Channel is doing a show on what they found. (Unfortunately it's probably not too revolutionary, or we'd have heard already. But still.) It's supposed to run Sunday, June 4, listings and info available here. They're hinting it sheds new light on the King Tut mystery (the tomb is from the same era), so who knows? (I'm more curious about the Akhenaten/Nefertiti mystery, but no one ever thinks of that one.)

If I hum one more song from some show on Noggin (that 'I belong to a family' song needs to be outlawed, the writer flogged, and the guy who sings it hung by his own vocal cords), I'm going to take a drill to my skull like that guy in Pi.

Happy freakin' weekend.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Look. More physical therapy.

This is a damn doily in some kind of crochet cotton, color 'Delft Blue'. I like the color, it's sort of like a faded indigo, but I doubt it's available any more... this stuff could be anywhere from five to fifteen years old. (I used to stash crochet cotton like some people stash sock yarn.)

People get into all kinds of definitions of 'lace knitting' versus 'knitted lace' and it all seems like nitpicking detail to me. I use the terms 'one row lace' and 'two row lace' to define knitted lace (lace knitting?) One row lace is the stuff that's worked every row. Two row lace is the stuff with a row of stockinette/regular/knit stitches between the worked rows. Generally, two row lace is more stable and easy to work, with that row of standard stitches in there to even everything out. It's also much more relaxing to knit, with every other row being what I call a 'brain dead row' where you can just zone out and knit it.

I'm in a hurry to get this done, so of course I'm doing one-row lace, where I have to pay close attention and a single dropped stitch can end in disaster. (I had gotten to row eight, dropped a stitch in a column of faggoting, and after messing with a crochet hook for ten minutes, gave up and started over.) The pattern is taken out of my lace notebook (I've copied a lot of patterns from who-knows-where and pasted them in), and has the helpful notation "knit in four days, white, for Ang", so here's hoping it's done and ready to mail by Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

So far, so... ugh.

I have hit the wall on the Tomten jacket. You know, the one where you think "this thing sucks" every time you pick it up. I've finished the body (including what I think is the first hood I've ever knit - I sure don't remember ever knitting one before) and have picked up the sleeves. I've almost run out of the two shades of pink yarn I used on the body, so I shifted to two MORE balls of pink yarn I had here (I told you I had a lot of pink yarn), and it STILL LOOKS LIKE I'M GOING TO HAVE TO BUY MORE @#(*#&$@ YARN. The white stripes? They're using up yarn twice as fast as the green, yellow, or light pink stripes, and I'm gonna run out. Granted, I was going to buy some more colors of this yarn (Brown Sheep's Cotton Fleece) anyway for the swirly afghan square jacket thingie, but geez louise, have you EVER heard of a toddler-sized jacket eating up SIX 200 yard balls of yarn? (I'll have a more accurate guess on how much yarn this thing used once the sleeves are done, but it really is sucking up yarn at an alarming rate.)

The Tomten jacket is my only knitting deal right now. I've been doing modular origami as physical therapy for my hand, and it's left me a bit cranky. (The accompanying painkillers probably aren't helping the mood a bit.) Long story short, knitting takes care of most of my hand problems in terms of physical therapy, except for the really fine motor-control stuff, and I'm losing ground there. The bright side is, origami beats putting tiny washers on tiny pins in the therapist's office, and isn't quite as boring.

Lace knitting would be a nice change of pace, and I wanted to make a doily for the friend who sent that baby quilt. Hmmm.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Alligator update.

Remember the picnic with the alligators on Saturday? Remember me saying we left before the baby got too cranky? Apparently we also left before everyone GOT DRUNK AND DECIDED TO BAIT THE ALLIGATORS. The Master Chief (high-ranking enlisted person) finally got fed up and took the tap off the keg. You know it's bad when Daddy has to step in and cut off your alcohol consumption.

Sigh. The husbeast works with future Darwin Award winners.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The state of things.

The house is mostly clean and the in-laws aren't arriving until Tuesday, so I took a break from picking up toys off the floor to finish up some stuff.

Well, first, in the Great Clean, I paused to wash a 100% Tussah Silk throw I knit a few years ago:

That's it, under the cat. Sometimes I really wonder why I bother.

I also, at long last, finished the felted bag, which I'm calling the Deco Bag because the jagged pattern along the top reminds me of Art Deco somewow. (I suck at all that art identification stuff, so don't tell me it's not. I already know that. Humor me.) To keep up with the photo-posting trend, here it is, in all it's glory:
I put up the pattern on the off chance that someone wants to knit it, available here. If you knit it, watch what color you use for those spots; the surrounding blue-gray makes them really blinding.

The Tomten Jacket continues apace (see left). I jiggered with the stripes AGAIN, and will probably run out of pink before the sleeves are done. I'm going to throw another color in, rather than buy more yarn; I'm knitting the damn thing to use up yarn, after all. Sorry about the photography. The hovering dark blob at the top of the photo is actually... my hair. I suck so bad. (I cut my hair Friday and I'm not used to it flopping everywhere but that's really pitiful photography.)

And, though we already knew it, the baby is cute:

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Exotic. With fangs.

Warning. Today has absolutely no fiber content. Just so you know. I always enjoy when knitting blogs mention anywhere exotic (anywhere I've never been), so I did a little travel log today, and you're all going to be subjected to it. (People are still looking at me weirdly when I run around taking photos for my blog.)

Today was the shop picnic with the guys the husbeast works with, at a little park near the Santee Dam. (Yes. Every picnic spot needs a power plant belching crud into the sky, nearby. Don't ask me. I didn't pick the place.) As we were driving in, I spotted this:

And I wondered just how big a problem gators were in the area.

Apparently, it's about a six-foot problem. Several six-foot problems, really, but this is the one I got a good photo of:

All of the husbeast's work buddies were saying those were NOTHING, compared to Elvis, the gator that lives near where they work. Elvis likes to sun herself in the road and blocks whole lanes of traffic. People go out with forklifts and move her. (I almost took a picture of the kid feeding the one gator cold cuts, but figured it was bad manners to post photos of other people's children on the internet without permission. Call me silly. But there WAS a kid, early teens, feeding a gator cold cuts. Where was his mother?)

Otherwise, there wasn't much excitement. I ate a lot of chocolate cake and shook my head over alligators and we came home before the baby got too cranky. However, I did get a nice shot of some cypress trees.

Life in the south. Grits and gators. Good lord.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Mad skillz.

It is always interesting to me, how we apply the skills we've aquired while knitting to other areas of our lives. (Or, conversely, how we apply those other skills to our knitting, but that's another post.) In this case, it was my knowledge of fibers. I knew every time I put Mr. Bunbun (that would be the bear in the pink bunny suit) through the washing machine, his life expectancy would drop dramatically. So I hand-washed him - if I can wash silk roving, I can take a layer of dirt off Mr. Bunbun. Thereby lengthening the life of my kid's favorite toy.

Yeah, yeah, I know. I think too much.

Mr. Bunbun is recovering from his ordeal under a fan, much cleaner, and undamaged.

The wool scarf: a cautionary tale.

I finished the scarf. This is it, before blocking. It is 32 inches/83 centimeters long, which is pitifully short and barely enough to go around your neck. I know this. That's why I knit it so short, see. I've done this before and any kind of combination of wool (or alpaca, in this case) and ribbing/cables does mighty strange things when it hits water. Like lengthen by at least 1/3 it's unblocked length.

I gave the thing a swish in warm water and Eucalan (love Eucalan Lavender. Love it, love it). When I pulled it out, I measured again, and it was already at 37 inches/96 centimeters. THEN I blocked it (read: stretched it lengthwise as much as humanly possible) and it stretched out to 43 inches/110 centimeters.

You guys might want to keep this in mind when knitting scarves. If you haven't already learned it the hard way, yourselves.

In other news... hm. I could have sworn there was some other news.

Oh. I'm about one third done on the Tomten sweater, which is my only project at the moment. I was planning to dive right in to my father-in-law's Christmas sweater when the yarn gets here (any day now), but it has now been pushed back so that I can knit a doily for the person who made the quilt for the baby, and do the infamous wrap (again) for my friend. She's hitting a landmark in her life and could use a gift around mid-June.

It has occurred to me that I'd meet my knitting goals a lot more easily without shuffling in gifts every time I turn around, which is due to being a Nice Person. I'm sure this is my mother's fault, somehow.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


My in-laws are stopping off next week on their way through from Florida to Ohio, to dote on their grandkid and say hello to us. This is not the code red. In-laws visiting is nice. We have fun.

CODE RED INVOLVES CLEANING MY HOUSE. The back yard still needs shoveled out and I wonder if it'd be easier to just apply the same aproach to the interior of the house: drag in a couple thirty-gallon trash cans and grab a pitch fork and have at it.

But seriously. The reason this is in my knitting blog is because while walking around the house today, sort of checking out the scope of the disaster and planning the attack, I realized that eighty percent of the mess in my house is knitting scattered EVERYWHERE. If I were to gather it all up and put it in my office closet where it supposedly belongs (and reshelve the ten million knitting books strewn around), the house would look almost clean. Another ten percent of the mess is baby stuff - toys on the floor, etc, that's just going to be there until she leaves for college and I've already given up on. And the last ten percent is the kitchen, which is truly a disaster and the only real problem to condend with.

I wonder if using a pitchfork on yarn would damage the fibers? Hm. Probably. I don't think it would work on dirty dishes, either. Damn.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Theft. It's a beautiful thing.

The baby has this little shirt with stripes on it (see left), and I've always kind of liked it. (You can almost tell what's going on in the picture. My photography still sucks. I even took it in full-spectrum light, for all the good it did.)

Anyway, I riped off the color pattern. Flat-out stole it. This whole concept of coming up with creative color use is just too much for my poor brain this week. Theft it is. I jiggered with the stripes a bit (since I have more dark pink than light pink yarn), and otherwise used the same color sequence, and wound up with this:

This is the start of the Tomten jacket for the baby. It's definitely... pink. Not wild about it, but it's using up yarn and is big enough to fit her for at least next winter. The husbeast and I agree it reminds us of Fruit Stripe gum, a good memory from our own childhoods. (Which I am amazed to find is still available.) The beige/white yarn also reminds me of kite string, another childhood memory. It's all good.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Nearly done.

It still needs some grafting done, which is probably obvious due to the knitting needle stuck through the middle of it, but you can see now how these squares are meant to be knit. And I've decided, what the heck, I'll make the jacket. I can knit up squares between other projects over the summer and have a nice knock-around jacket for fall. I need five more of these squares, two rectangular 'squares' for sleeves, and two mutant triangles to create a V-neck. Ten 'squares' in all. Nine more to go. It occurred to me, belatedly, that this is a fine way to play around with color and intensity and figure out how they combine, so that's what I'm gonna do - each square with different colors. Though I'll keep the dark green background for continuity. This means I need more yarn. Yes. I'm snickering. (Considering this project was chosen to use up yarn I bought for something else.)

I also cast on the Tomten jacket for the baby, because I want to use up some of the massive pile of pink yarn I've got sitting here, and then I can use the leftovers in the patchwork jacket. This way I'll be sure I have enough.

The finger I cut this week was giving me trouble (it kept splitting open) so today I washed it out real well and then super-glued the cut shut. (A fun trick learned from the techie husbeast.) So far, so good. At least it's quit hurting. Yet another useful skill learned here at Samurai Knitter.

This is kind of a random post. It is random due to sugar and caffeine overload, because the baby and the husbeast gave me Godiva Platinum collection chocolates for Mother's Day today, and I decided "It's mother's day, to hell with the diet" and proceeded to graze on them all day. My body isn't used to that kind of thing, so now I'm all twitchy, to the point that I wonder how I'm going to sleep tonight.

But if I don't sleep, I can always knit.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Another swirl.

The edges are curling because the cast-on is too tight, but it's going to be picked out again when I join the square to... something. To make either a pillow or a jacket, still debating. I have considered this square-based jacket idea would be good to knit in between other projects for the summer. It would keep me from getting bored with any one project. But I'm still not sure I even like the colors.

Otherwise, in my usual detail-obsessed fashion, I timed myself last night and it took about 20 minutes to pick up the stitches for a curl and about an hour to knit one, more or less. And this was while watching TV (I caught the second half of the Dr Who cliffhanger last night, there's nothing like gas-mask wearing zombies) and then reading a book, so I'm sure if you really concentrated and worked at it, it could go significantly faster. Even now that I'm working on it, I look at the pictures and diagrams and think it's going to take hours and hours and hours to work and, well, it doesn't.

I've also ordered yarn (more yarn! Whee!) for more Christmas presents: a sweater/jacket out of Icelandic lopi, and four scribble lace scarves. I wasn't kidding about having all the Christmas knitting done by the end of summer.

Time for another swirl, I think.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Something interesting.

This is the start of a swirl afghan square from "Unexpected Knitting" by Debbie New. For those of you who have not looked at the book, yes, it really does swirl. It is in garter stitch. Those stripes curl around. (And yes, this is the new use for the yarn inteded for the Persian Poppies sweater.)

The way it works is, you knit the background first (in my case, green, in her book, a light gray), then pick up stitches in a J shape and knit, decreasing down to almost nothing, doing some grafting, and then picking up another J shape. You can kind of get the gist of it from the one I've got done. (There are four total, you can kind of see where they go from the shape of the green part.)

I found the process not so much hard as involved, if that makes sense. There are nice bits of fairly uncomplicated knitting (most of the swirl) and a few intense moments of counting and stitch picking and marker placing (picking up those stitches for the swirl was time consuming and took a lot of counting and re-counting). What you're looking at in the top photo is maybe four hours' knitting total, so it's not painstaking brain surgery type knitting. But it's definitely interesting, and does increase my understanding of knitting.

When I'm done with this afghan square, I will ditch the whole thing or else knit myself the afghan square jacket shown in the book. I haven't decided yet.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Yes! I felted the bag without destroying it. I'm not thrilled with the bottom edge, but I can re-block it later if I have to.

This afternoon I chucked the whole thing in the washer and let it go for about ten minutes, and unlike before, stopped every two or three minutes to check on it. I got it out after it was 'felty', but before it was a centimeter thick and unbendable. In the midst of it, I was interrupted by the arrival of this:

My friend Allison (sadly blogless, or I'd hook you guys up), made the baby a LOG CABIN QUILT! Magnificent, isn't it? I was oohing and ahing and suddenly remembered the bag in the washer and ran out to check on it, but all was well. So I oohed and ahed some more. Can't wait until the baby gets into a bed so I can tuck her in with this.

Anyway, I eventually fished the bag out and hauled it into the house and dumped it in the kitchen sink, because my house is without a laundry sink. (Will not rant about the landlord... will not rant about the landlord...) I rinsed everything out and found this joyful blob in the midst of things:

That is the six miles of I-cord, felted into a ball. I managed to untangle it with a minimum of tugging and swearing, and found that the cord in the middle of the snarl actually hadn't felted. Which means it needs another trip through the washer. (I'd hand felt the damn thing, but more on that in a second.) Is there some trick to felting I-cord that I've missed, or do I just suck at it?

Then, I'm trying to skewer in the large knitting needles to make holes for the straps (those are the largest of my Denise points), and got fed up and made the mistake of getting out a knife. (The husbeast is kind of a knife fiend, and keeps everything in the house wickedly sharp. Stupid, stupid me. I am such a dumbass.) The inevitable happened, and I slit my finger open, which required sitting around doing direct pressure with my hand over my head, which is why the strap holes are kinda crooked, which is why I'm not going to hand-felt the I-cord. (The cut could probably use a stitch or two, so getting it wet like that would be really dumb.) It's always something, right?

So that concludes today's blood-curdling adventure. (I called the husbeast to pick up medical tape and gauze on the way home from work and he sighed at me. Always a sign of a good day.)

My friend Allison, of the quilt, lives in Texas. Any suggestions on a knitted gift for someone in a warm climate? Anyone? I'm thinking it deserves a damn doily.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

All right, some photos.

Note: I started this Tuseday, but Blogger was still not accepting photos, so the bulk of this post was really written Wednesday. If it matters. (Sometimes I get irritated by Blogger, but then I remind myself that not only is it free, the amount of data they move in a day is unbelievable.)

Not many photos, but I mentioned gratuitous cuteness, so here it goes. The cat and the baby had their latest summit meeting on world domination yesterday. (I think it involved the partitioning of N America, and who gets to sleep on my lap in the afternoons.)

The bag is done, and the six miles of I-cord have begun:

I was gonna take a photo of the scarf, but it just keeps getting longer.

I've gotta start something interesting. This is for the birds.

Same shit, different day.

I have a massive case of ennui going on, which I strongly suspect is related to the baby teething (up three times last night), PMS with migraines, and being broke (diapers are putting a massive hole in our budget). The excitement never ends around here.

The bag is about 2/3 finished. I have to put the stranded color around the top, knit six miles of I-cord for the handle, and then, shudder, throw it in the washing machine to felt. I'm hoping to have the bag done and a start on the I-cord today.

The scarf looks just like it did Sunday, only longer.

I had a migraine yesterday (a real one, not these ones I joke about the military causing), and the new drug, Zomig, worked. I'm starting on another migraine now, but I'll just take another dose. Whee.

I'd show you a picture of the bag, and maybe some gratuitious cute photos of the baby and the cat, but Blogger is being dumb, so no luck.

This concludes today's thrilling activity.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

I'm a coward.

After the Great Purge of projects on Wednesday night, I was a little irritated (okay, I was flaming mad and the husbeast was muttering about hiding from me at one point), and I didn't do any knitting for a day or two. Mostly because I was afraid to touch the Tax Sweater, but also because with no projects, I was suddenly free to pick something new to start, and I hadn't planned on that until at least June. It was pleasant to spend a day or two going "I could knit Innsvinget.. or do a fractal something... or some lace..." Of course I didn't start anything elaborate, but it was nice to toy with the ideas, even if they were totally irrational. In the end, I chickened out.

I started this, which is the Christmas scarf with the marled alpaca. It's a little redder in the photo than to the naked eye, but otherwise, with my hand stuck in the photo, you get a good idea for scale. It's way too subtle for my taste (I'm the person who thinks pink and orange look great together), but then it's not going to be my scarf. It's going to someone who wears a lot of earth tones and is rather shy, (or at least, not outrageously obnoxious, like me), so it should suit her. I'm using the Elizabeth Zimmerman scarf pattern from, I think, Knitting Without Tears. (To paraphrase: Cast on a likely number of stitches, and knit until you can't stand it any more.) It's fifty stitches of K1, P1 rib. It looks like a floor board right now, so it BETTER soften up when it's washed.

I also started this. It's a bad picture of an adaptation of a Booga Bag (I'm making it a little bigger, with some stranded color, and a different yarn, but it's definitely the same construction method as the Booga Bag.) It's hopefully going to go to my friend who had wanted the purple Farmer's Market bag before I killed it in the washing machine. We'd agreed on some green shade or other (I was thinking Project Spectrum, it IS May), but once I started rustling through my stash, it turned out I had a lot more blue. So blue it is. It better survive the felting process, is all I've got to say. (The husbeast won't fit under the bed.) Oh, and that swatch I marked off on the Farmer's Market bag? I cut that hunk out before I threw the bag away, and measured: it's a quarter inch (about half a centimeter) thick. Insane.

In other news, the baby and the cat are fighting for supremacy of the 'bouncy chair', as it is called here. It's a kind of hammock-deal on a wire frame, and when the baby moves, it bounces her up and down (my foot has also been known to sneak over there and bounce her up and down a bit). She loves it, but the weight limit on the chair is around twenty pounds, and she's about there, so it's looking like it will eventually belong to the cat. (I'd give it to another baby to use, but a lot of the attatched equipment is broken - we really did use this thing to death.) That should give the cat a nice thrill of victory.

We are also ready for our next power outage. I intend to knit my way through it, by the blinding light of our new camp lantern. We had some storm cells move through the other day and another power outage was likely, so we slipped on out and picked it up. The power outage never happened, but we're ready, by golly. (The National Weather Service says that Charleston is overdue for a direct hit by a hurricane, and my house is ten feet above sea level. I think I need more than a lantern, but it's a good start.) As I was proofreading this, the computer chirped; I had notice of a tornado alert, one county away. I love living in the south in the summer. Hah.

Oh, and I'm plotting what to do with all that yarn that I bought for the Poppies Sweater That Wasn't. I've had several outragous ideas, and I think I'm going to go with one. Hopefully there will be enough left over I can STILL knit a Tomten Jacket for the baby with the rest. That's a photo of one to the left; think cotton stripes instead, and you've got an idea. (Photo from here.)

Happy what's-left-of-the-weekend!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Migraine trigger? Or just dammned annoying?

I stayed away from knitting today. After yesterday, I was afraid to touch anything. And I'm kind of at a loss on what to knit, at this point. Other than the I-cord edgings on the Tax Sweater, and I'm afraid to touch it for fear I'll screw it up.

So... no fiber content today.

Last Thursday (THURSDAY!) I called the Air Force Base pharmacy to refill a perscription and was told it would be ready to pick up Tuesday. (Yes. Four days to refill a perscription, but they can bomb any country in the world with eight hours' notice. Makes you wonder.) This was for a drug that makes it possible for me to eat while taking painkillers, because I've had so many nasty drugs over the years that my stomach is touchy. Fortunately I had some more here, or I wouldn't have been able to eat by Saturday.

Yesterday, as we know, was a BAD day.

So today I go over to the AFB to pick up my perscription (with a baby in tow, this is about as simple as the D-Day invasion), and just as I'm walking in the door, they LOCK IT IN MY FACE. Apparently the first Wednesday of every month, they close at one PM to do 'training'. (Training appears to be leaving work early in your shorts and tank top.) I have to go back tomorrow.

I swear I started a migraine on the way home. (All right, it wasn't a BAD migraine, and I really think it was from the air conditioning in my Jeep blowing straight in my face, but stil. Last two times I was on base, I got a migraine. Coincidence? Hah.)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A Path of Destruction

It's been a bad evening. Well. I suppose I should just show you.

That's my trash can. In case you can't puzzle out what exactly you're looking at, that's the Poppies swatch, Georgina, and a squished Mountain Dew bottle. I was right. The neck was in the wrong place (off by over an inch. How in HELL did I manage that, and then knit three inches without noticing? I'm blaming all those spots). And the Poppies swatch kept looking worse, the more I knit on it. So. Bye-bye. I thought of ripping out Georgina and re-using the yarn, but the way I'd hacked it up, knitting it in, it didn't seem worth it. Into the trash it went.

Oh, and the instant gratification project? I'm not gratified.

I finished it today.

It is the French Market Bag from Knitty. Other than adding on a few rows to the handles, it's knit as the pattern is written... the pattern's nice, cleary written, and an easy knit. What happened next is not the author's fault. (Sounds suitably ominous, doesn't it?)

I'm going to blow the suspense and say that previously, I have only done one felted knit project, and I trashed it. (I wanted a slightly felted shawl. I got a place mat. The cat currently sleeps on it.)

Anyway. So I threw it in the washing machine on 'extra small load' and 'hot' and 'heavy duty agitation' and set it for fifteen minutes, figuring, how much can something felt in fifteen minutes? (Clearly, I am a moron.) The steam rolling out of the washer as it filled should have given me some clue. But NO. Off I toddle into the house to have a snack. Fifteen minutes later, I was back, and pulled out.... THIS:

We had another felting fiasco on our hands. I rinsed everything off, hung it to dry, and this evening surveyed the damage:

The husbeast, with his usual gift for a horrible phrase, asked, "You knit a bowling ball cozy?" I'm thinking it looks more like a sports bra with the holes in the wrong place.

So far as I can tell, I did only two things right. I used a strainer to skim off the fibers in the washing machine before spinning out the water, so that they wouldn't clog the pump and burn it out. (That REALLY would have topped the day, wouldn't it?) And, before felting, I thought this was a fine opportunity to create a gauge swatch, so I marked off a twenty row by twenty stitch square on the bag. So now I can repeat this effect, if I ever lose my mind and want to do it again. In case I want to make, oh, I don't know, body armor.

I'm down to one project. The Tax sweater. I'm afraid to touch it.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Happy Beltaine.

Time to go light something on fire.