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Preview: The Reluctant Blogger Knits

The Reluctant Blogger Knits



Dragging her feet into the New Millenium, The Reluctant Blogger gives way to peer pressure and creates a space where her knitting trials, travails and triumphs can reside. Warning: This is not a cat-free zone.



Updated: 2017-11-16T02:23:11.069-05:00

 



Some are born to blog

2010-01-02T19:47:14.706-06:00

...others have blogging thrust upon them.A short recap of the past 8 months:I joined a knitting group! We meet at the Panera in West Bend, WI Tuesday nights from 6-8. I am loving the scheduled, dedicated knitting time, and have been inspired to move along more on all my knitting projects, so that I have progress to show. And it came about at a good time, as I broke up with my boyfriend about the same time the group started. I had just finished a pair of socks for him, too. That was irritating.But there's plenty of good news.Got a new kitty, Polly. She's all growed up now, but isn't she just a cutie? Awww.Got a design published in a magazine. Off-hand Gloves, to be found in Knitcircus, Winter 2009. Knit a pair of socks in less than a month. This is the Rushing Rivulet pattern from Cat Bordhi's New Pathways book. In Araucania Ranco Multy. First toe-up socks I've done, and I found the gusset, which is located on the sole, interesting. I like the reinforced heel, too. I'm going to try other architectures from the book as well. Maybe I'll find one I like enough to replace my usual cuff-down, short-row heel and toe variety.Knit the Swirl Shawl (well, ok, scarf) from JoJoLand. I had no idea the Yarn Harlot was knitting this until I pulled it out at my knitting group. It was kind of fussy to knit--a lot of picking up and casting on as each hexagon is added to the scarf. But the finished product was truly beautiful, as this pattern made the most of the yarn. A Christmas gift for a dear friend who looks wonderful in it.Knit something for myself out of my own handspun! The yarn was spun from the last bit of merino Kathy and I dyed, oh, way back in September 2007. I'm calling these Mariposa Mittens, as I knit them while watching The National Parks: America's Best Idea. I learned there that one of the first National Parks was the Mariposa Grove of Redwoods in Yosemite. So, knowing mariposa is Spanish for butterfly, I put a purled butterfly motif on the back of the hand. I have enough handspun left over for a colorful headband for a matching hat, and I bought a nice purple shade of Cascade 220 for the crown of the hat.Things I am working on now: The Classic Lines Cardigan from Knit Picks, which will be my first adventure in steeking. I'm almost done with the yoke, so the scary thought of cutting my knitting looms. I love the fabric the doubled laceweight is making, and bought more for a second version.Purl-less Monkey socks. I was done with the leg and half the foot of the first sock, but tried them on and figured they were too tight around the leg, so I frogged them and cast on an extra eight stitches for the cuff. Since then, stagnation, but I will return to them soon. The lace stitch pattern is easy and quick, and I like the stream-lined all knit version better than the original.A pair of fingerless gloves for a co-worker with cold hands.and a mountain of other UFOs that I vow to either finish or frog.So that's the skinny on me. I hope this post makes Kathy happy.[...]



Bandwagons

2009-04-21T12:13:16.926-05:00

I jumped on the bandwagon and knit myself a February Lady Sweater:

(image)
I made some polymer clay buttons for it. I blended red, yellow, white, gold and a smidge of blue to get the persimmon color of the yarn, then I blended that with pearl for a lighter variegated color. I tried several other combinations as well, but these looked the best:

(image)
It doesn't look half bad:

(image) It's really comfortable. I did lengthen the sleeves and taper them down from the elbow to the wrist, cutting out about three lace pattern repeats as I did so. I made M1 increases on the yoke instead of the called-for YO increases. If you do this too, do it on the WRONG side, where it will show less. I'm very pleased. It was a quick and fun knit and I think it'll become my most-worn handknit sweater to date.

Next up: The Classic Lines Cardigan from Knit Picks. In dark, dark, dark blue-green with a pale strand of eucalyptus. Swatching starts today.





Small accomplishments

2009-03-21T19:59:52.879-06:00

I spun this into this:

(image)
(image) 3-ply Merino/Silk (80% Merino/20% silk)
Dyed by Red Fish Dyeworks. ~500 yards, fingering weight.
It spun like a dream, but it took forever because (a) I really fell off the spinning wagon this winter and (b) three-ply is, you know, three times the work.
I was thinking socks originally, but I'm not sure now. For one thing, I have tons of sock yarn and I prefer machine-washable for socks, which this is not. I have half a mind to weave a scarf from it, or maybe knit one. I guess I'll let it marinate a while.

I finished these, although I seem not to have taken a picture of the completed pair:
(image) Twin Rib socks in Online Supersocke 100. Cuff-down, short-row heel and toe. The rib is pretty clever, a 6-stitch rib of knit-seed-knit, purl-seed-purl, and it's reversible. They are nice and cheerful and took the bad taste of those really ugly socks out of my mouth.
I'm almost halfway through the February Lady Sweater, and have two socks on the needles; a mystery sock I'm lurking at over on Ravelry, and Eunny Jang's Bayerische Socks. For the Bayerische socks, I overdyed some kind of overly-pastel merino tencel I had a nice sapphire blue. If I can get it together soon, I will post pics of ongoing projects.





Resolved

2009-01-04T16:20:06.794-06:00

So, I've been up to a few crafty things over the past, um, five months.I needed a necklace to go with a blouse I planned to wear to my Christmas party. So I got out my polymer clay and mixed up some colors. I tried and tried to create a circle like in the fabric, but failed miserably. So I ended up mixing and marbling the colors and liked the results. I got out my beads and found I had some tiger eye and Botswana agate beads that went perfectly and voilá! I was further pleased to discover I had sometime in the past made a purple and gold bracelet that went almost perfectly. Of course, when I went to get ready in the hotel room, I discovered I had left them on my bed at home and had to go to the party jewelry-less. Which made me feel kinda naked. I did rewear the blouse on Christmas day, however, so I was able to wear the whole ensemble.This fall, I bought a new medium-weight coat, which was dark brown with a tan, red, navy, cream and black plaid lining. I had no gloves to match, so I dived into my stash and discovered I had tan, red, cream and black Merino Style from KnitPicks. Hooray! I wore my new coat on a road trip out west in early October and I took the yarn along. I got one glove done and up to the fingers on the other one. It was cold and snowing in the mountains and I failed to bring any other gloves or mittens. When I got home, I tried several times to finish the gloves, but made very little progress. One day, I pulled out the glove project bag and discovered I had lost the tan yarn. I faced the dilemma: rip out the other glove's fingers and make different color fingers? Or leave the one done glove as it was and make the other not to match? As I was thinking this over, a miracle occurred! I went to visit my sister and see her Christmas tree. And on her coffee table was the missing ball of tan yarn! A Christmas miracle! It had made its way under her couch, and she found it when moving furniture to put the tree up. I took the yarn home. I dilligently worked the fingers. Halfway up the middle finger of the second glove, it became clear I did not have enough tan left for the index finger and thumb. So I pulled out the index finger on the other glove, finished the other thumb in that yarn, and made the two index fingers red. Let's call it a design feature, eh? They'll keep me warm, anyway. I knit them tightly on size 4 needles. Should be fairly windproof.A few months back, when I was struggling to make my sister The Ugliest Socks in the World (more of which anon), I had to put them aside and give myself a break. I wanted a pretty, lacey sock, because a friend had picked out some pretty pinkish Koigu for her birthday socks. After several false starts, I decided on Knitty's Spring Forward socks. I also decided to try the Magic Loop method, which I love. Absolutely love. I was happy with four dpns, but Magic Loop makes it so easy to keep the project tidy when it's time to put away. I used to have issues losing stitches if I wasn't careful putting the work away. I've been converted. And I really liked the Spring Forward pattern. The lace was easy to memorize and easy to decipher on the couple of times I lost my spot. I knit these mostly while sitting on a bench in the sunshine, watching my boyfriend practice on the driving range. A definite success.Now, what's all this about The Ugliest Socks in the World, you ask? For several years, I have been buying sock yarn I think my middle sister would like. Every one I showed her, from Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Argyle, to Regia Cotton in Surf, to the fabled Trekking XXL 100, failed to excite her interest. Then one day, she came home and presented me with a ball of OnLine Supersocke 100 in the ugliest colors I had ever seen together in one yarn. Let me enumerate: Petal pink. Baby blue. Royal Blue. Cream and beige jacquard. Dusty rose. Apricot. Pale, pale, pale pink. And back to the cream and beige jacquard. It was like one of those 1980's sofas with the "impressionistic" pattern on it. A sofa [...]



Once a month is ok, isn't it?

2008-12-08T21:31:28.487-06:00

Time for an update! I'm making a little more progress in the crafty side of my life, so I'm hoping I'll be back in the swing of things soon and have more to blog. Here's what I got up to in July:

(image) Beads and buttons made in the polymer clay class Kathrows and I took at the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair. I enjoyed messing around with the clay so much that I went out and bought a bunch of different colors and a case to put them in. When I start buying books and a pasta machine, we'll know I'm in trouble.


(image) 80% Merino/ 20% silk purchased from Red Fish Dyeworks at the MFAFAF. This was the ONLY fiber I bought there. I can't wait to spin it up. Right now on the bobbins is some organic cotton top that's driving me crazy, and I want to finish that up before starting anything else, because I think it's good for me to get more comfortable with cotton. But I am just itching to get at this.

After the MFAFAF, we had Knitting Camp. Did I take any pictures there? Don't be silly. Luckily, Elizabeth was more organized than me, and got a great picture of us all. It was a fabulous time at camp. Great weather, great food, great fun, and knitting, knitting, knitting! So much knitting that I finally finished something:

(image) Mini-cable socks with short-row heel and toe, from Jojoland Melody. They're fraternal twins.

And before I started the organic cotton, I spun up a little BFL:

(image)
(image)
100% Blue-faced Leicester, dyed and given to me by One Skein Wonder in a secret pal exchange. Damn, I love BFL! It's so easy to keep fairly even, and so sproingy and cushy! Top pic is more representative of actual color.

Up next: some truly hideous socks, just wait, and a new lace project with handspun. I'll try to post 'em before September.




I hope you were sitting down

2008-12-08T21:31:28.952-06:00

I know, I know. Unforgiveable to leave the blog stagnant for five months. I could cite some excuses: started dating a guy, which has considerably cut into my knitting time (but in exchange I have discovered how much I enjoy taking motorcycle rides), a month-long bout of mono (!), big work project (not much of an excuse, as I have not made big strides on it), and most pertinently, a loss of knitting mojo. I have completed nothing since the socks I blogged in February, although I am approaching the heel of the second sock of my next pair (sorry, no pic yet), and have reached the separate-the-arms-from-the-body stage of a neck-down raglan (no pic for that either.)

Meanwhile, although I had temporarily abandoned my knitting, one of my knitting friends did not abandon me. Looky what the great Kathrows knitted me, from yarn made of fiber we dyed together and I spun up:

(image) I know, the picture sucks. But they are very, very fabulous.


(image) Beads and everything, and a great textured pattern! I just love them.

I did complete a spinning project recently.

(image) About 500 yards of tweedy wool/silk 3-ply, about 12 wpi. It has a nice rustic, bumpy texture that I'm really digging. I got the fiber at last year's Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair, which is coming up soon. It is a great show, and if you're anywhere near Chicago, I encourage you to check it out.
(image)
Finally, a bit of sad news. If you read this blog, you'll know Chester, the world's best cat. Sadly, he developed kidney disease, and although we tried to treat it, he eventually got to the point where he wouldn't eat or drink, and I had to say good-bye. He was a devoted companion of over 12 years and slept on my bed most every night of those twelve years. He enjoyed playing hide-and-seek and I never heard him hiss. I will miss him something fierce.



Hooray for socks!

2008-12-08T21:31:29.079-06:00

(image)
Trekking XXL 100 socks
My basic sock pattern: 2x2 rib cuff, 6x2 rib leg and instep, short row heel and toe.
If you like wool socks, you will like Trekking. And if you like color, you will like Trekking XXL 100. Unless you are my sister. I had planned to give these to her for her birthday, but she called them outright ugly while I was knitting them! Her loss is my gain.
I've decided to finish up an old project before starting anything new. Can't tell you about it as it is a gift, so we might experience a slight blog delay. OK, even more of a blog delay than I've had lately. I blame winter. It is simply brutal this year.



January Slump

2008-12-08T21:31:29.537-06:00

I've been in a bit of a fiber arts slump so far this month. I have not spun every day, like I said I would. I am not making much knitting progress either. I'm sure I'll break out of it soon, though.

I did finally get my Harvest Moon spun and plied, though:

(image)
(image) Harvest Moon Two-Ply
Super-fine merino, tussah silk, suri alpaca and Mongolian cashmere blend
plied with a strand of tussah silk.
100 grams, 330 yards, sportweight, about 17 wpi
Blended and dyed by Abby Franquemont.
I'm not thrilled with it. It is a little too loosely twisted and plied, I think. I could have done better by this lucious fiber. I'm also not sure I'm in love with the color. Spun up, it seems a bit muddy. I may overdye it.
And I'm half done with my latest pair of Trekking socks:

(image)
I was originally making these for my sister, but I decided to keep them for myself. I can't give up those colors! Laura will have to wait for the next pair, I guess.



New Year, New Post

2008-12-08T21:31:30.336-06:00

I am still here, still knitting, just not posting too much. One of the reasons I've slacked off on the posting is because I've been making some Christmas presents, and of course, can't show pictures of those until after Christmas. Here's two of the finished presents:
(image) Laura's Fair Isle Hat. Cascade 220 Wool and Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, all leftover partial skeins. I graphed out the big X pattern with the colors I had, then cast on for seven repeats, and made up the rest as I went. The brim is a twisted rib. It turned out a little big, so I hand-washed it, then threw it in the drier. It shrank just enough to fit my sister Laura, who has a big head. She really likes it, and has had it for a full week now without losing it. Yay!


(image) Jeanette's Black Watch Diamond Socks. Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, in Black Watch Colorway. 1x1 cuff, leg and instep a purl-stitch diamond pattern. Cuff-down, short-row heel and toe. Sorry about the bad pic, but I finished these the night before I had to give them to her, and couldn't get a good natural light photo. Last year I made her a vest using LL Swirl in the Black Watch colorway, so these are to match. They seem somewhat poofy at the ankle in the picture, but Jeanette reports that they fit her. I guess she also inherited our grandmother's cankles!

Here's what I'm knitting now, along with a Christmas present that did not get finished:

(image) Trekking 100's socks. Zitron Trekking XXL, in the fabulous and cheerful colorway 100. Cuff down, short-row heel and toe with a 2x2 cuff and 6x2 leg and instep. I started these with the intention of giving them to Laura for her birthday, but she has seen them in progress and called them "fall-like". I'm not sure she deserves these spectacular colors!

Over at the knittyboard, some of the spinners there have made a resolution to spin every day in January. Coincidentally, I woke up this morning and realized exactly how long it's been since I did any spinning (over a month and a half!) and vowed to start up again this very day. So I hereby resolve to spin a little each day. I am also determined to do more weaving. I picked up some extra heddles for my loom last month, as well as some cotton yarn. I will report back soon on my progress there.

One final note: I got a sewing machine for Christmas! I need an idea about what to make to reacquaint myself with sewing, as I haven't done it since 8th grade! So, who's got an idea for a fun project I can start off with? Something small to get my feet wet, so to speak?




FO: Secret of the Stole--Guinevere!

2008-12-08T21:31:30.894-06:00

(image)
(image)
(image)
Still don't know the theme. The most popular guesses are Guinevere and Excalibur.
ETA: The theme was revealed to be Guinevere.



I'm a winner!

2008-12-08T21:31:31.332-06:00

I've been having good luck recently. Before the Innernets, I only ever won one prize in any kind of drawing or contest: an 8-lb chocolate bar. I was going for the trip for four to Disneyworld, but oh well. We had that sucker on the kitchen table for what seemed like months, it was about the size of a shirt box. Everyday after school, my friends would come over and we'd chip off a couple of chunks and eat it while watching Jeopardy and doing homework. It was Nestle's chocolate, and I'm really not fond of that particular brand now.Anyway, with the advent of the Fiber Cyber Community, all that has changed. It started last year, when my entries (1, 2, 3) in Flash Your Fiber Stash won me a prize--some merino/alpaca blend that I have yet to spin up. Then, a long dry spell, and suddenly--two prizes! Whoo hoo!First, Rebel had a little quiz contest in honor of her birthday, and I was a lucky winner.Apparently, in Portland, Oregon, they sell fancy wool wash in the bookstore! Can you imagine? I have only one bookstore in the entire county, and it sucks, nothing but science fiction, Oprah's bookclub and religious meditations. Certainly no wool wash. I have to drive at least 40 minutes to get to a decent bookstore, which is why I patronize Amazon so much. But I digress. This prize was a wonderful surprise. I have actually been out of any kind of wool wash and have been using a sample bottle of moisturizing shampoo, but that bottle is just about empty. So, perfect timing! And the little button has a spinning wheel on it. I'm getting quite a button collection these days. I'm going to fix up something to display them on.Next, I found out I was a winner in the Secret of the Stole knitalong. Yippee! And the prize just came today: Awesome! Some absolutely bewitching yarn: Radiance by Yarn Botanica, in Dragonfly. The yarn is a fabulous merino/tencel blend, fingering weight, and a generous 400 yards per skein! Wow! Also: At Knit's End by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, which is great, because I don't own it and my library never has it checked in, some really pretty clip-on glass beaded row markers and a discount card to One Planet Yarn & Fiber. Yep. Hit the Jackpot!Wanna see that yarn close up?[...]



Secret of the Stole Hint Five

2008-12-08T21:31:31.463-06:00

The picture is a bit wonky, but you get the idea.
(image) The blocking wires are working out well, they were a good investment. I'm still completely clueless about the theme. Maybe my brain does not equate lace with abstract ideas.



FO: Nantucket Jacket

2008-12-08T21:31:31.724-06:00

It's done! And I'm very pleased.

(image) It fits well, it's warm and soft, and not unflattering. I'm probably going to replace the buttons at some point, but I went to three different stores on Tuesday and these were the best I could come up with. I'm going to cut the top button off. The collar lays better with it open.

(image) I really need a haircut!

Stats
Pattern: Nantucket Jacket by Norah Gaughan, Interweave Knits Fall 2006
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish, 100% superwash wool, in Copper. 16 50 oz balls used
Needles: Knit Picks Options size US 7
Size knitted: 48.5 inches chest measurement
Modifications: Lengthened sleeves from 3/4 length to full length. Naturally, I made them a smidge too long, so I omitted the crochet edging from the cuffs.
Started: September 1, 2007 Finished: November 2, 2007



Blogstalking--What's for breakfast?

2008-12-08T21:31:31.804-06:00

(image)

Pretty self-explanatory. The tea in this instance is Stash Spiced Chai, which is my favorite chai. My favorite of all teas, however, is Lloyd's of Harrowgate Yorkshire Gold. I don't drink it on work days, though, because one teabag makes two cups and I don't have time to drink two cups before I go to work, so I don't like to waste it. I get my supply of Yorkshire Gold from my world-travelling friends who go to England about once a year. They are very kind to always bring some back for me. When I'm out, I really miss it!

And that is the story of my breakfast. Really, more about tea, but what else can I say about breakfast?




Secret of the Stole Hint Four

2008-12-08T21:31:31.993-06:00

I almost fell behind this week, due to working a lot of unexpected hours, but I finished Hint Four:(image) Luckily this week's hint was all bubbles, easy to memorize and no beads to fuss with. I opted to knit the stole at the designed length, without shortening or lengthening it. I am still really enjoying knitting this. Meanwhile, I ordered some blocking wires which should arrive tomorrow, so I'll be able to put them to the test on Hint Five! I still have no clue on what the theme might be. I do think the motif in the middle looks a bit like a church, but I'm not really sold on that.

In other knitting news, I'm almost done with the cap of sleeve #2 of the Nantucket Jacket. I hope to have it done and seamed this weekend!



Cable Surgery

2008-12-08T21:31:32.808-06:00

Today, I would like to talk about doing a little cable surgery. I was half-way done with the second sleeve of my Nantucket Jacket, when I noticed I made a little (hah!) mistake:I had crossed the cable twice for no apparent reason. And what was worse, I didn't notice it until at least 25 rows later. I could have frogged down to before the mistake and re-knit. I could have ignored it and went on. Many very good knitters did indeed urge me to forget it and move on. I stewed and stewed over what to do, and then realized the fact that I was stewing over it meant I had to fix it. So, Cable Surgery it was.Step One: Knit until you reach the stitches which comprise the cable. In this case, we are working a six-stitch, P1K1P1 cable. Slip all the cable stitches off the needle and ravel them all down past the mistake, then put the cable stitches on a dpn: In this case, my dpns are quite a bit thinner than my working needle. It's probably better to have dpns close to your needle size, because you are going to be re-knitting your ravelled stitches and your gauge will be off if your needle size is too different. In this case, I was too lazy to hunt up different dpns.Step Two: Using the closest loop from the ravelled stitches, begin re-knitting your cable: Here, I am preparing to purl the first stitch of the six-stitch cable. Just like regular knitting, you bring the yarn forward to purl and take it to the back to knit.Step 3: On the correct row, work your cable: You can do this with a cable needle as you would normally, as shown here, or you can also use your two dpns to first cross your stitches and then knit them in order, whichever works better for you.Step 4: Continue re-working each ravelled row, being careful to use the closest loop of ravelled yarn, taking each in order:Here we have the first cable correctly re-worked. Now it's just a matter of working up the ladder, keeping track of each row as you work it so you can cable on the correct row. Note that I have quite a bit of looseness in the left-hand stitches. I fixed this by distributing the slack among the other stitches as I finished each row, by inserting a needle point into each stitch in turn, making each one a little bigger. The closer your dpn size is to your working needle size, the less slack you will have on the edge. This also means you will have less yarn to make your last couple of stitches, so you may have to do a bit of maneuvering to get the stitches on the needle. Make sure you don't twist your stitches as you make them.Step 5: When you have re-worked all the rows, slip the stitches from the dpn back on to the working needle. You're good to go! A couple of tugs sideways and lengthwise helps reshape the stitches, and after a good wash and block, you probably won't be able to tell which cable got the surgery: What? You've never used your cat as a prop before?[...]



Silver Lapis Necklace

2008-12-08T21:31:32.922-06:00

I knit up this little trifle today:

(image) Silver Lapis Necklace from the "Knitted Gems" kit by Knitter's Journey bought at the Wisconsin Spin In. Used size 3 needles, 24 lapis beads and 26-gauge non-tarnish silver wire. Time to knit: 3 hours, including stringing the beads and attaching the clasp.

Boy, knitting with wire is a pain in the asterisk. I'm not completely sold on the whole thing. I'm reasonably pleased with the end product, which I'm giving to a co-worker for her birthday, but I'm not so sure I'm champing at the bit to make any more. Lord knows I have enough beads and there's plenty of leftover wire, but man, it killed my hand to make. I might make some bracelets--they'd be quicker.



A day in my life

2008-12-08T21:31:33.571-06:00

Saturday, October 20, 20075:00 am: Alarm clock goes off, I hit the snooze, pet Chester at the bottom of my bed, turn over and go back to sleep5:09 am: Alarm clock goes off, I hit the snooze, pet Nellie at the bottom of my bed, turn over and go back to sleep5:18 am: Alarm clock goes off, I get up. No cats on the bottom of the bed.5:18-5:43 am: Morning ablutions and get dressed. I wear my Tofutsies socks for the first time.5:43-6:15 am: Breakfast (Maple and Brown Sugar Shredded Wheat, yogurt, banana, chai tea) and read the paper.6:16-6:30 am: Brush teeth and put on make-up. Discover I'm having a bad hair day, but it's too late to do anything about it now, time to go.6:31 am: Tell Chester good-bye, that I have to go to work, that I'll be home in the afternoon. I do this every morning. If I don't, he will cry for me after I leave, according to my sister.6:32 am: Drive to work. It's a good time of day. I drive east and enjoy the silhouettes of trees against the sunrise. 6:58 am: Arrive at work, where I will spend 8 hours here: 6:58 am: Realize I've left my pathetic lunch, leftover pepperoni pizza at home. This dooms me to a lunch of leftover bakery and possibly an apple. Grr.6:59-11:57 am: Check guests out, take their money, do the bookkeeping, check my e-mail and hang out at the Knitty Coffeehouse, answer the phone, drink two cups of coffee, and troubleshoot a non-working toilet (just needs a plunger, thank god, that's the housekeeper's job).11:58 am: The caterer next door brings us a leftover lunch of salad with mixed greens, tenderloin, feta cheese and cherry tomatoes, and cheesy grated potatoes. Hooray! She also brings me three frozen, unbaked croissants filled with pumpkin and cream cheese. Dessert for tonight!11:59 am-12:17 pm: Answer three phone calls, check two guests out, greet and answer questions from tourists wandering through.12:18 pm-12:48 pm: Thank goodness, there's still some lunch left. Sit down with the housekeepers and have lunch. Am only interrupted twice.12:48 pm-3:24 pm: Do a couple of loads of dishes, finish bookkeeping, answer calls, greet incoming guests, more phone calls, discover I've done the bookkeeping on the wrong form and fix and re-print, balance out cash drawer (+$12.42? what's up with that?), prepare bank deposit, more phone calls, sell some gift certificates, hand the whole thing off to the evening innkeeper.3:24 pm: Drive home, past dairy and sheep farms, corn and pumpkin fields, under a bright blue sky. I curse my job in the windowless closet of an office. I should do something to enjoy the weather but I am drained from my day of constantly being nice to people. It is very hard. I know this is the only bit of the outdoors I will enjoy today: Sheep: 3:48 pm: Am greeted at the door by the kitties: 3:49 -5:15 pm: Mess around on computer, knit a bit on Secret of the Stole, bake off the pumpkin-filled croissants.5:15 pm: Am asked by my sister whether I was planning on making dinner. I offer my Noodles gift card if she will go get. She declines. 5:16-5:17 pm: Argument with sister.5:18-6:18 pm: Knit on Secret of the Stole, trying not to argue further. Just want someone else to make or arrange for dinner just one day a week.6:19 pm: Remember pizza in fridge and eat it cold with some cranberry Sierra Mist (yum!). Honeycrisp apple for dessert. 6:32 pm: Remember the pumpkin croissant and have that for second dessert.6:33 - 9:28 pm: Knit on Secret of the Stole, listen to audiobook (The Pale Horseman by Bernard Cornwall), mess around on computer.9:29 pm: Evening ablutions, jammies9:35 pm: Bedtim[...]



Secret of The Stole Hint Three

2008-12-08T21:31:34.007-06:00

Because I like to reward my stalker!

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Can you see poor Chester's scratched nose?


(image) He's been "playing" a bit rough with Nellie.


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She looks entirely too innocent to have caused such damage, doesn't she?



Tofutsies Eternal Socks

2008-12-08T21:31:34.307-06:00

The Socks That Took Forever are done!

(image) Yarn: Tofutsies by SWTC

Pattern: basic cuff down, K2 P2 rib with short-row heels and toes

Started: May 29, 2007 Finished: October 15, 2007 Four and a half months! Sad.

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I love 'em and so does Chester. Why yes, those are my jammies I'm wearing!



Trouble in River City

2008-12-08T21:31:34.636-06:00

Trouble with a Capital T:
(image) That rhymes with P:


(image) That stands for Pool. I guess this Lorna's Laces Shepard Socks is not destined to be Jaywalkers. I guess I will continue to be the only knitter in the world who hasn't made a pair of Jaywalkers. Off to the frog pond for you! Maybe I'll make Monkeys instead.

Meanwhile, spinning's going fine. I spun this batt up and am working on the coordinating silk. Like buttah.

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Blogstalking Statues

2008-12-08T21:31:34.733-06:00

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(image) It's a really long fish. Made out of concrete, decorated with broken bottles. Pictures by my 7 year-old nephew, Brandon. The guy in the carriage is not on the fish, he's in the background, but I like the way it looks like he's riding the fish. A few more freaky concrete statues can be seen here.



3 things I love, 3 things I hate

2008-12-08T21:31:36.194-06:00

Three things I love:1. Fall. I love hiking in the woods, crunching the leaves underneath, seeing squirrels scurry after nuts, drinking in the color of the turning leaves against a blue, blue sky. I love the way the sunlight slants a different color, I love how the crisp air makes it seem I can see each individual leaf on every tree. I love hearing Canada geese honk as they fly overhead, and I love the smell of woodsmoke in the air. I love Fall.2. Lunch. I like to go all out. This particular lunch is homemade vegetable and alphabet noodle soup, pork hash sandwich, Doritos, grapes and homemade apple sauce. Pork hash? Old family recipe. Take cooked leftover meat: pork, chicken, turkey, ham. Grind it up in an old cast-iron meat grinder. I suppose a new-fangled food processor would work too. Mix with Miracle Whip (NOT mayo, go white trash for this) and sweet pickle relish. Serve on buttered bread, preferably white for maximum traditional value. Doritos? Love 'em and not gonna apologize about it. Why is the apple sauce that color? Made with Jonathon apples, boiled with skins on and then seived--nice, isn't it? And very yummy too. 3. Jasper Fforde. If you've never read him, if you like literature at all and have a sense of humor and like alternate-reality stuff, you will love him. It's a quirky mix, but it's just pure fun to read. Start with The Eyre Affair. Seriously, it's great stuff. Three Things I Hate:1. 83 fricking degrees in October???!!!???? That shit's crazy! I hate anything hotter than 76. I wish it could be 63 degrees every day. Good thing the cold front came through.2. Laundry. While I'm not fond of any household chores, I particularily hate laundry day. I force myself to fold it as it comes out of the dryer, because otherwise it gets all wrinkled as it stays in the basket two or three days before I put it away. I don't know why I can't just put it away immediately. It's a mystery. This particular week's worth of laundry (yes, one basket, it's just my own laundry, this is a major benefit of being single and childless) sat in the basket on my bedroom floor from Monday until Friday night, when I emptied the remaining clothes I hadn't pulled out yet. That's a new record for me.3. The thing I probably hate the most, I am not going to post a picture of. You all can do your own Googling if you want to. CRUSTACEANS. Lobsters. Crayfish. Crabs. Shrimp. **shudder** They are creepy. These past few years, I have noticed a horrifying trend. Kiosks in malls at Christmastime selling fiddler crabs in fancy shells. THIS IS WRONG, PEOPLE! What a horrible, horrible idea of a present. I can't even think about it. Three Things I Don't Hate (but a lot of people do):1. Cleaning the bathroom. Having worked as a hotel housekeeper in my early working career, I have the skills and the tricks to making this one of the easiest chores around the house. It is, however, essential to do it frequently, or else all hell breaks loose.2. Mondays. Usually my day off, so--Hooray For Mondays!3. Paying Taxes. I don't mind doing my taxes, and I don't mind paying taxes. It's part of living in civilization. Get over it.Three Things I Don't Love (that a lot of people do):1. Shopping, especially for shoes and clothes. If I could wear the same ten outfits over and over, if my closet automatically replaced worn out clothing with a duplicate, I would be fine with that. Hand knit items excepted, of course.2. TV.[...]



Secret of the Stole Hint Two

2008-12-08T21:31:36.332-06:00

(image) I'm kinda afraid those are spiders or crabs.....



Secret of the Stole Hint One

2008-12-08T21:31:36.500-06:00

I'm finished with the First Hint on Secret of the Stole! Here it is, not terribly-well blocked, but enough to give you an idea:

(image) I'm really enjoying this lace business. The Knit Picks Harmony wood needles are easy to work with, keeping my stitches in good order, and I love the Knit Picks Shadow yarn as well. I have been able to keep my place pretty well, although I did have to drop some stitches a couple of times due to mixing up the order of the YO's and decreases, but it was quite easy to fix in all cases. The only downside in the whole business so far is that I have to wait until the next hint is revealed on Friday to continue.

Meanwhile, I am almost done with the first sleeve of the Nantucket Jacket. I think I am actually timing a sweater right for once. It should be done as the cool weather finally rolls in, and I'll be able to wear it on a nice fall hike.