Archive for November, 2007

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

fiber-y stuff

On Friday, the girls and I went to the Weaving Works to pick up some needle felting kits and Christmas colored rovings to do this.

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I saw a picture in a magazine of using cookie cutters as molds to felt shapes, and knew the girls would love it. And they do.

Yesterday, I went back to the Weaving Works to try out their drum carder. They carry a Pat Green carder, but not one that’s on their website, however it looks like the Deb’s Deluxe.

I liked it. I had time to make three batts. The first was romney, silk noil, and silk top. The second was romney and alpaca. Third, I did a batt of dyed kid mohair and silk top.

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They’re all lovely.

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I finished spinning the wool and mohair roving I bought with my fleece a month or so ago. This is the last skein.

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And I got a better picture of the scarf.

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I spun the yarn woolen with just enough twist in the single to hold it together, then I plied it as heavy as I could without making it rough. The resulting yarn is light as a feather, and squishy as the most luxurious sponge you could imagine. It’s not a soft wool, but I think the scarf feels fantastic.

Clark threw up all over himself last night, but didn’t wake up. I have a tremendous mess to clean up today and while I’m at it, I might as well do the rest of the laundry.

Sigh.

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

The boy is kind of walking!

Sometimes.

And he’s only 19 1/2 months!

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I’ve been spinning up a wool/mohair blended roving the past few days. I have a little left to do, but four skeins are done and washed already. We cleared off the coat racks in our entryway for Thanksgiving guests to use, and I was happy to see them when wandering the house with four wet skeins Sunday night, looking for a place to dry them.

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I’ll have to remember that. You’re only seeing two of the three racks. I could dry a lot of yarn there…

Anyway, I’m knitting a cabled scarf with it.

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The colors are quite washed out in the photo, but it’s really pretty, and soft and squishy. I like it a lot.

I wish I had enough to knit a vest or something. If you recall, I railed quite passionately against vests a couple years ago, but I’ve changed my mind. Vests can be very cool. Hayden has shown me the light.

So, while I haven’t been much of a scarf knitter in the past, I’m suddenly turning my handspun into scarves. I need to try something else.

Now, I’m going to make turkey soup. And my post is incredibly boring. Can you hear the malaise? I’m done here.

Monday, November 26th, 2007

Our trip to Forks

So, Nate and I went out of town for his birthday. We went to the Olympic Peninsula to stay in a little cabin on the ocean in La Push, which is an indian reservation, and to visit Forks and the rain forest.

(Forks is the town where those vampire books I’ve been talking about were set).

On the way out there, we stopped in Port Angeles to eat dinner at the Bella Italia, (the restaurant in the book), which was very, very good. Nate refused to give me a decent smile, (he really hates having his picture taken) so you get a picture of an empty booth.

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There were four women at the table next to us that came from Canada and were asking for Mushroom Ravioli, breadsticks, and Coke (what Bella ate in the book). The restaurant didn’t have mushroom ravioli, and Nate and I were dying, trying not to laugh as the very enthusiastic Twilight fans were geeking out all over the waitress.

After dinner, we made the famed night drive from Port Angeles to Forks, tho’ we obeyed the speed limit.

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Our cabin in La Push was great. Very cute and right on the ocean.

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And it had the biggest bathtub I’ve ever seen.

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You seriously could have fit four people in there.

In the morning, we went to Forks for breakfast

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and went grocery shopping.

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I bought a hat.

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The visitor’s center was great.

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It was decked out with Twilight posters and banners and such. The guy working there got all excited when we said we’d read the books, and gave us a map of sights to see, along with an envelope full of stuff including a Twilight Trivia test and a baggie of First Beach Sand.

When we got back to the cabin, Nate did some reading

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and I knit for awhile

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before we went for an hour long walk on the beach. Our cabin was right on First Beach, and it was gorgeous.

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We came back to dry out

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The next morning, it was sunny and gorgeous, and we got a few pictures before heading to the rain forest, which you saw a week or so ago in my hat post.

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Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Thanksgiving preparations

So much to do, and I’m completely behind in every imaginable way. Except for the grocery shopping.

I was supposed to clean my house and do laundry on Monday.

I was supposed to make gingerbread turkeys and pumpkin pies yesterday.

I am supposed to make 6 dozen crescent rolls today.

And as it turns out, I’m doing ALL of those things today. And there will probably be some carryover into tomorrow.

Dangit. Dangit. Dangit.

BUT, the laundry is well under way. I’ve cleaned my counter and reloaded it with the necessities for pumpkin pie.

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The boy is SO going down for a nap as soon as this post is finished. I am eating healthy food and drinking lots of water to maintain my energy.

I WILL PREVAIL!!!!

I will. I will. I will.

I bought yet another large container of Band Aids this week. We have a serious case of Band Aid abuse in this house. I made rules. I wrote them on the box. It amused me. I took a picture.

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I went to a spinning guild’s fiber sale last night (I made the decision to go last week, thinking I’d deserve a break from all the Thanksgiving work I’d be doing, which clearly hasn’t been happening. I went anyway). I almost came home with a loom. Nate is thrilled that I didn’t, which probably explains why he seemed so pleased when I showed him these.

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A pound + to spin,

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And a pound to dye.

And then spin.

And I’m stuck baking.

Dangit. Dangit. Dangit.

Friday, November 16th, 2007

Angora mitts

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I wanted to get a better picture, or at least a new one, but that’s probably not going to happen, so I’m just posting this as is.

These are some fabulous fingerless mitts I designed in the style of the Uptown Boot Socks from the Winter 2003 issue of Interweave Knits Magazine.

Size 7 double pointed needles

Gauge- 13 stitches over 3 inches of stockinette

2 skeins Elsebeth Lavold Angora

Cable Pattern-

(C4F means place 2 stitches on a cable needle, hold cable needle in front while knitting the next 2 stitches, then return and knit the two stitches from the cable needle).

Round 1: knit
Round 2: knit
Round 3: (C4F, knit 4) around, end with C4F
Round 4: knit
Round 5: knit
Round 6: knit
Round 7: (knit 4, C4F) around, end with knit 4
Round 8: knit

Cuff-

Cast on 36 stitches, 12 per needle

Join into round, knit 20 rows of 2×2 ribbing

Hand-

(knit 8, work 20 stitches in cable pattern, knit 8 ) for 28 rounds

round 29- knit 8, work 20 stitches in cable pattern, place next 7 stitches on waste yarn or stitch holder, cast on 7 stitches before knitting remaining 5 stitches to complete the round. This is now your right handed mitt.

Continue working hand stitches as before, until you have completed 43 rounds of the cable pattern.

Knit 5 rounds of 2×2 ribbing, bind off in rib pattern.

Thumb-

Put 7 held stitches back on a needle.

Pick up 8 stitches along the cast on edge behind the 7 held stitches.

With right side facing, begin knitting the 15 thumb stitches in stockinette stitch in the round, for 6 rounds.

On the first of the next 5 ribbing rounds, either decrease by 3 or increase by 1 stitch to get the 12 or 16 stitches you’d need to knit 2×2 ribbing.

Knit 5 rounds of 2×2 ribbing, bind off in rib pattern.

Weave in ends.

Repeat for the left glove working the thumb on the opposite side.

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

And that’s when my heart stopped.

I was straightening up yesterday. Bustling through the house, tidying up, my mind in far off places as I went through the motions of housework when……

…when I picked my shoalwater shawl up off the back of my computer chair. I’ve been using the shawl a lot recently around the house, as it’s gotten colder. I lifted it, spread it, and that’s when I saw it.

And once I started breathing again, I took pictures.

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You probably can’t see it there, but it’s a cool picture. My modern couch is instantly “grandma-fied”. It cracked me up.

How ’bout now?

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And finally,

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What the heck? My only asumption is that because Noro Kureyon isn’t the strongest of yarns, I happened to end up with a particularly weak spot in a stress point, and it snapped.

In the absolute dead center of my shawl.

I didn’t know how I was going to fuse the yarn together once I had it fixed, but I figured I’d start in on it and deal with each problem as I encountered it. Fortunately, Kureyon is a felted yarn, very sticky, so it hadn’t run too far or gotten out of hand. So I re-threaded it. It didn’t look right. I did it again. Bingo.

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In the end, I pulled as much length through as I could and spit and spliced it. I hope it holds. I really didn’t know what else to do.

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To celebrate, I finished washing my second romney fleece.

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Is it really that neurotic of me to spend hours picking through the locks to remove all second cuts and roughage, arranging them parallel to each other by length (generally speaking), and washing them in small batches?

I think it must be, but wow! When it’s washed and dry and all tidy like that, my heart just flutters.

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I’m going out today to pick up my serger, and to do something else that I’ve forgotten already. I’m hosting Thanksgiving again this year. Dinner will be significantly smaller than last year, I think we’re feeding about 22, but we’ll be back up to 38 or so for dessert.

I’m making lists and assigning days to tasks. I can’t figure out exactly why I love to host big parties. But I really, really do.

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

A rain forest hat?

An interesting thing happened over the weekend. I was online, and I saw a hat pattern. The hat pattern had a flicker group. In the flicker group there was a photo of the hat that excited me. I ran to the stash to get some Kathmandu Aran. Why? Because aside from being a cool hat, it TOTALLY reminds me of the Hoh Rain Forest Nate and I just visited. Specifically the nurse logs.

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I needed the hat. And now I have one.

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It’s a very tall hat, probably because I was using bigger needles than called for, and so I didn’t mind when I had to cut 10 rows to avoid running out of yarn.

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It’s neat that I happened upon the pattern so soon after our trip. It’s like I have my own, personal souvenir from the rain forest.

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And that makes me happy.

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Thursday, November 8th, 2007

Good morning

Thank you all for the comments and emails. It’s so nice to feel cared about.

I feel better today. The fever seems to be gone, but I’m keeping an eye on it. My abdominal pain is all but gone. I’m supremely tired, but I feel ok. I’m optimistic.

Yesterday afternoon, I perused the stash and saw two skeins of soft, heathered purple wool without a label that I know I’ve had for 5 years or so, but have no idea where it came from… wait a minute…

Upon typing that last paragraph, I remembered that I used this yarn to knit thrummed mittens way back when Stephanie had her knitalong, so I went to my archives and happened to guess the correct time period. Apparently, I bought the yarn label-less for cheap out of the sale bin at my LYS that is no longer in business. Mystery solved. The funny part is, that the entry I read made mention of “that brief, humorous, and now frequently joked about period of time that I thought I was going to learn to spin.”

That’s really funny.

I mean, it’s totally cracking me up.

Getting back to my original story, I looked in the stash, saw the pretty purple, and decided to whip out Veronica’s legwarmers. She was at school so I couldn’t measure her, but I’d deliberately looked at her leg recently. I held the yarn doubled and cast onto size 10.5 needles 24 stitches. (24. Because she’s dinky. I’ve been calling her my itty-bitty-midget for a couple of weeks). I knit 42 rounds, bound of with a picot, knit the second one like it, and after sleeping in them last night, the mini munchkin wore them to school.

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So I’ve checked that off my list, happily. This morning, I finally set the twist on my handspun designated for Liv’s legwarmers, and while I was at it, I did the same for my lovely silk/camel laceweight before taking an artsy picture.

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Minimal physical exertion was required. And it may be the most productive thing I do with my day, outside of knitting, don’t worry.

I don’t know what to knit today without going to the yarn store. Liv has changed her requested sweater from a striped hoodie to that gorgeous, cabled yolk sweater in the Tahki Stacy Charles ad in the latest IK. It’s an adult sweater, so it’ll take some modifying, and I want to raise the horizontal band up so the sleeve joins the sweater closer to her armpits if possible, but I know that could be tricky.

In the meantime, I’m probably going to end up going back to the stash to try to come up with something to do with my day.

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Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

An update to this morning

First of all, and sorry for forgetting this earlier, yes, it’s a kidney infection.

I’m back from the doctor, and apparently, I’m worse off than I thought. I’m not out of the woods for being hospitalized. She upped my prescription to the maximum amount and said if I’m not done with the fevers (apparently, I had a fever in the doctor’s office), chills, and abdominal pain in a day or two, they’re going to do a CT scan and possibly admit me.

Dangit.

This is seriously lame.

And I’m hungry.

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

Surviving

Monday sucked. I don’t even know how to adequately express the pain. But I’ll tell you that I felt like an idiot almost passing out in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. And it wasn’t the kidney pain, my chest suddenly seized up and I broke into a sweat and couldn’t see.

I was trying to deal with it myself, breathing, walking around, leaning forward… (the guy in the row of chairs across from me was trying not to stare). When I thought I was going down for sure I called up to the receptionist, who was helping someone, and told her I needed help. Suddenly, there were two nurses and a doctor by me, discussing amongst themselves where they were going to put me, because the rooms were full.

I was humiliated. But I didn’t pass out, and I’m guessing it’s because of the anxiety associated with making such a public spectacle.

So, they wheelchaired me out of the lobby into a room, gave me oxygen, put little, electronic beeping things on me to check stuff. My oxygen level was at 70%, and that was after I was feeling better. I didn’t know they could check that.

Anyway, I was prescribed an antibiotic and sent home once they were convinced I could drive safely. The rest of the day was, incredible as it may sound, worse. They didn’t prescribe any pain medication, and I was so out of my wits with pain, I didn’t even think about the fact that I should have some for several hours. I was in bed, writhing, falling in and out of sleep and sweating like a fish.

At around 6 pm, I woke up and thought to take Tylenol, slept for an additional hour, at which point I felt better enough to get out of bed and eat.

Now I have other pains, I’m tired, and I have a follow up appointment in about an hour.

At some point, I’ll have the energy to talk about our weekend. I apologize if I’m neglecting emails. I’ve had a bunch recently, between school stuff, Girl Scouts, Yahoo groups, family matters, and blog queries, I know that some have gone unaddressed. So, email again if you need something, because if you haven’t heard back from me, you’re lost in my inbox.