Friday, October 31, 2008

In loving memory.

Yesterday, our grandmother Susie passed on in her sleep. We'd gotten to spend the last two weekends visiting her (along with the rest of the family), which was nice. We scooted up her 90th birthday party a few weeks to last Saturday, so she got to see everyone, and know she was surrounded by people who loved her. Here's a photo of her with her beautiful youngest granddaughter:

Grammy was a knitter. Each grandchild (and child, of course!) has a lovely afghan she made for them, as well as countless other knitting products - lovely hooded sweaters, scarves, etc. She did needle-lace as well, and crochet, and she's one of the few people I've actually knitted something for. She wasn't able to knit without pain, and then she couldn't knit at all during the last few years; her arthritis just got too bad.

I hope there's lots of wonderful yarn for her to play with in Heaven!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A genuine Disapproving Rabbit!

Via her blog, RandomKnits, I follow the adventures of Donna's far-away rabbit, Twinkie. (I should add that from where I am, Donna is also far away, not just her rabbit. Plus, it's also a knitting blog. I think there should be a webring for Knitters with Rabbits.... is there?) During Blogtoberfest, there's been daily doses of Twinkie. Yesterday, she looked Most Disapproving - and this morning, I was informed that Twinkie is, indeed, an Official Disapproving Rabbit!!

I finally got to take a tour of my husband's new office. While I wasn't comfortable taking pics inside the actual premises (it's a secured area), I took a few from Outside. There is really cool stained glass art all over the place, such as this:

He can actually see the Wilson Bridge (a huge span crossing the Potomac River at a rather wide spot) from his roof. And monuments. And the Capitol. It's a REALLY nice view. To wit:

East West

No actual knitting to show you; I wasn't feeling well last night, so didn't get much done. But you've got a link to cute Disapproving Rabbits, so I figure I'm off the hook for one day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Dawnzer's Lee Light

(If you're a Ramona the Pest fan, you'll get the title today. If not, oh well.)

I hit a milestone of sorts yesterday: I finally finished Hint #6 of SotS-II. It took a wee bit longer than I thought, though, because while I managed to figure out one tiny fix, I caused a huge error by not actually looking at the *edge* of the chart. So, frogged back to the first of the non-ssk-psso rows, and redid. But I finished! Well over halfway done now, and on a "just follow the pattern now, the edges and center are all the same" area, which should just fly by. I really may hit the end of this lovely shawl. Maybe even by Christmas??

One thing that helped a lot: My lovely new Floor Lamp!

Nice, bright, AND reflects
off the ceiling!

Pic illuminated only by lamp
while sitting on couch!

Love this new lamp. Suddenly, I'm not getting headaches from wearing a headlamp (yes, this is what I've been doing since it got dark at night), squinting because none of the ceiling lights are actually located anywhere near the current position of the couch... I can actually see and knit WELL. Yay!!

In future travel news: I haven't been to Italy for over twenty years now, after being back several times in my younger days. (Why? Because that last trip, I forgot to toss two coins in Fontana di Trevi, that's why.) Browsing through the various offerings on the web (while remembering that a Knitting Cruise to the Bahamas in May isn't on tap for this year), I found Tactile Travel, a company that arranges knitting-oriented tours of Italy. The one to Milano & Turino would be FAB, if I wasn't taking a two-week vacation after Thanksgiving next year (third honeymoon). 2010, though, I'm going to go on some sort of fibery travelfest! Anyone wanna tag along?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

When the Wintergreen Wasn't.

I love wintergreen flavor. Lots. When I can get away with it, the Ultimate Yummy Thing is devil's food cupcakes with wintergreen frosting. Which frosting, by the way, doesn't occur in nature or in any retail establishment I've ever found. I have to make my own using wintergreen extract, which tiny bottle is hoarded carefully over the course of a few years, but eventually runs out.

Like it did last month. Now, this isn't a big deal, but there's only one place locally - Fran's - that I've ever been able to find the stuff. And earlier this month, when I was rolling by the store, I discovered a Horrible Thing:


Fortunately, the tiny sign in the window kept me from a complete breakdown (and more whimpering than my husband was really in any shape to deal with, since he'd undergone aspher... asphir... getting platelets donated earlier in the day):

I'll be visiting their new location as soon as I get a free Saturday afternoon!

Also, it's really cold, and grey, and rainy and BLAH so far today. The commute in was awful (I can get to my office an hour early most days; today I was LATE!). So, some pretty pictures from last week, when it was delightful and sunny:

Reflections of sunrise off the buildings in Rosslyn, Virginia, from Georgetown, D.C.

I am still knitting, of course. I'm slogging away on SotS-II, and managed to find a pattern error (which, once I checked the group, had already been found and repaired in the Final Version) all on my own, and fix same. Yay! I'm getting better at lace! I'm doing the Savannah version, with the extra "floof" at the bottom edge, and I've almost made it past the floof. Hopefully, I'll be able to start a new page of the pattern by tonight, because the Titania cardigan was calling my name VERY loudly last night. (Mostly because I finally - purely by accident! - located my third set of 14" size 6 straights. (This means I can be knitting the two fronts plus the back at the same time as I go, thus eliminating all that nasty "Okay, what the HECK did I do over here, and how can I make it match?" that always seems to follow me when I try to make sweaters-in-pieces. There's a reason I learned to steek.) But I'd really like to finish just a wee bit more of the SotS-II. Y'know, and possibly have it done THIS YEAR!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Ears are Saved

The Secret Hat Project, Day Three, Continued
Okay, so, Friday night, I managed to get the Hat Recipient into bed in a timely manner (around 9pm), and knit furiously upon the hat. I got almost finished, realized the decrease scheme I'd hit upon for the crown looked like crap, and frogged back to where I stopped the ribbing. Said "to heck with it", k2tog (giving me 68 stitches, which, by the way, is divisible by four), divided the stitches evenly over my four needles, and then did K2tog-k across-k2tog each needle (followed by 2 rounds of k) three times, then K2tog-k across-k2tog each needle (followed by 1 round of k) for a bit, then just K2tog-k across-k2tog each needle until I managed to get down to two stitches left, total, which then got tucked through the top of the hat to the inside, and viciously knotted off. It was then 1:30 a.m., but I remembered to get pictures.
I then left the hat, wrapped in bright orange sparkly paper with a gold bow, in the dead center of the hallway, so that Hat Recipient would be certain to spy it upon waking. He didn't even notice it was in the hall, which says something about the cleanness of the house... so there was some cleaning. This is the semiannual Vacuuming of the Air Intakes for the Furnace.

Note: he's wearing the hat
This morning, on the way to work, he was willing (sort of) to pose with George so I could show you better pictures of the completed hat:

Is it just me, or does George look startled this morning?

Hat Close-Up

So, the Secret Hat Project is done, and the Hat Recipient's ears will now be safely warm. Yay!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Secret Hat Project (Post #300!)

First, go to DK's site and vote for which project you think she should work on next. (She can't remember what project is where, so I'm voting on the shiny bag at the back. Pick your favorite!)

Second, welcome to the latest crazy, the Secret Hat Project. I'm trying to make a lovely Karabella Supercashmere hat for my spouse (the "Hat Recipient"), with whom I live and commute to and from work - i.e., He Who Is In All My Knitting Spaces. I can only work on this hat at work, usually. Today is Day Three of the project. On to the chronicle!

Secret Hat Project, Day 1:
Managed to cast on at lunch, work several rounds, and determine sizing probably OK. Worked under desk later in the day. Realized hat would not be done quickly if only worked on at work. Smuggled hat and one ball yarn home under yarn for SotS-II. Worked on SotS-II during trip home. Hat Recipient unaware of extra yarn. Managed to work a bunch in between Hat Recipient's trips around house by having SotS-II draped over lap, hiding other yarn and needles as necessary. Also got a bit done on SotS-II, out of necessity. Had, by end of day, four inches of ribbing for hat. Need about a foot. Glad I bought two balls of yarn. Hat Recipient has big head.

Me, with flashlight and self-photo.
Lots of room on my head;
should be right size for Hat Recipient.

Secret Hat Project, Day 2:
Managed to smuggle hat back to work. In between reading "I Can Has Cheezburger?" and iTunes-ing my new Spanish-course CDs, I managed to knit right in the open at my desk. (It's slow during the mornings here right now; after lunch, WATCH OUT!) Boss-Who-Knits came out at one point, and we discussed the projects about to hit, and I kept knitting. Thankfully, I can work a k2/p1 rib without looking, so I was able to maintain "I am hearing what you're saying" eye contact, and still keep going on hat. She understands the importance of Warm Knitted Things for family; she has a son in college in inland Maine right now. (Maine = coldest northeasternmost tippy-tip of the USA. About even, latitude-wise, with Helena, Montana, with the extra bonus of winds from both Canada *and* the North Atlantic. Not somewhere to go for the winter, unless you REALLY like snow.) Got 5.5" done, then nothing. Spouse did not go to bed early as expected, so no knitting at home.

Hat, late Thursday afternoon.

Secret Hat Project, Day 3:
Almost finished with first ball of yarn. Knitting openly at desk now. Wish I'd found 16" size 3 circular needles last night, but can't look for knitting gear w/o inquisition from Hat Recipient. Don't want him to inquire as to why I need needles. He can tell when I'm winging an explanation.

Got to second ball of yarn at lunch. Will get k2p1 ribbing to 10", then begin decreases for crown. It's 66 stitches around. Figure decreasing 6 st/round every other round makes it all go away in 22 rounds. Hrm. Every 3 rounds? 33 rounds. Yeah. Then the rim can go double... GAK. I'm at 44 rounds total right now... but as the hat goes 'round, it will take less yarn... GAK.

44 rows of k2p1 rib

There won't be much knitting over the weekend, as I expect Hat Recipient to be fairly glued to my side all weekend, espeically during the Family Stuff on Saturday. So, he likely won't get his hat until Tuesday... unless everyone leaves me alone for the next hour and a half, and stops interrupting my knitting...!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Okay, will someone please tell me how I never thought to check YouTube for many and varied instructional videos for knitting? (And, okay, confirmation that the odd yarn-in-left-hand thing I do isn't actually completely unheard of, despite what my mother says.)

Plus, here's a nice resource for all y'all to bookmark: Knitting America's Map of Knitting Stores in the USA. Not complete, because shops can spring up quickly, but definitely something to hit before your next road trip.

And, because I hear about it if I don't post at least one photo, a really adorable Knitting Picture:

Knitted Rescue Bunny Nest, Complete with Adorable Baby Bunnies
by way of Bev's Country Cottage, the ultimate Free Charity Knitting and Crocheting Patterns website.

And, just because, a pretty shot down the river from the end of the park that I got yesterday morning. I like the fact that, once in a while, my Tiny PhoneCam decides to do justice to the actual colors in the world!

Not so much here:

The shot I wanted

The colors I wanted

Use your imagination on those last two and sort of splice the colors on the right with the shot on the left. Got it? Yeah, that's pretty. (The first shot, though, of the Key Bridge, is just lovely. *happysigh!*)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Save the Ears!!

I don't watch 24, but I found this a bit startling, looming out of the darkness of the train platform last night...

Thankfully, it seemed to be related to a lottery jackpot, rather than how many hours I had left on Earth.

This morning, it got cold enough to merit coat *and* sweater, so The Cat Sweater made its first foray into the wild:

Yay! Warm sweater, actually done about a year from when it was started, in time for Actual Cold! (We have actual cold in DC right now. I was wearing sweater, coat, hat, and thermal mittens. Some people were looking at me like I was crazy - but I was warm, and, unlike every single one of them, my ears and nose weren't red, and I didn't have my arms wrapped around myself as I hugged myself to keep warm.)

Exciting yarn news today: I found two patterns via Ravelry yesterday. Oh, my heavens. I must stitch up a Moss Stitch Beret. Of course, for the one I'll do, the ribbing will be a warm, nutty caramel brown, and the beret-part will be a nice, rich chocolate. Because then, after all this time, I will have - AN ACORN HAT!!! BWA-HA-Ha-hahahaha!!!


Here's the yarn I got for that:

... and here's the yarn I got to make a warm hat for my husband, who cannot presently find a hat that actually covers his ears:

Yes, the Karabella Supercashmere is still 50% off at Stitch DC Georgetown. I got the last two balls of Manly Dark Navy Blue Color. I'll be doing the Warm Ribbed Winter Hat by Lucy H. Lee, and I'll be doing it via STEALTH. I kept the yarn in my desk downtown, and snuck my size 3 DPNs out of the house this morning. I hope to present him with the hat by the weekend. (Yes, I know, I'm not supposed to start any new projects this year, and I've already started and finished a canvas piece this week. But his EARS are COLD. I cannot allow this to continue whilst it is within my powers to save him!)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I knit a lot of kinds of stuff.

Well, I guess I'm an all-around sort of knitter, based on my Featured Finished Objects on Ravelry just now:

I mean. look! Three pairs of socks. Two sweaters. A hat. A hairband. Mitts. A crocheted bag. Lots of different projects - althogh unfairly sock-weighted, because these are three of the four pairs I've ever finished (socks being a new thing with me). There aren't any shawls represented, because I don't tend to finish those very often, and yet I tend to make more of those than anything else. It does make me look like I just zip through sweaters - which is SO not true! But yay, I look like a knitter! I also like this set because an actual photo of me is in the center. Proof that it's my stuff! That, and several of the photos would work well for selling patterns and stuff (for the original things). Haven't lost that knack, thank heavens.

Decided something wild for the end of the year. The project I am working on between now and December must either be (a) in chronological order of unfinished projects started in 2008 or (b) started before 2008. This means Secret of the Stole II is the carry-around project until it is done, then Titania, then I must finish my Ninja Armwarmers (well, the second one, plus the duplicate stitching), then my LabCat lace scarf, then my Sekrit Projikt (which, I think, will just be something fun for me, rather than a Published Thing - so when I get to it, I'll start posting pictures), four cross-stitch projects, Secret of the Stole III, my Fairy-Tale Sock Club #3 socks (which would totally have been my carryaround project, thus making this list not work, but I couldn't find them Friday morning!!), my Tiger Eye shawl, and er, the Winter Twilight Tam that I accidentally started on the ride home Thursday night when I found myself completely without knitting.

And, of course, there was an accident at Scarlet Thread, which resulted in this:

A larger shot. The shadows are actually from the sun - it's that early in the morning in this hemisphere - and the colors are a bit yellower than they would be later in the day. However, you can actually get an idea of the 3-Dness of the piece, since you can see the shadows cast by the yarn. Yay! (Better shot:)

It's not on the list, of course, since it's finished now and I just got it. Wheee! Back to SotS-II!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Surprise Party that Worked!

At her Surprise Party on Saturday night, the Lovely L got The Coolest Birthday Cake Ever. "The cat got into the yarn..."

(If you're on my Livejournal f-list, the whole set of photos I took is here. They're f-locked, fyi. But I had to share the wonderful cake with everyone!) The party was a surprise, totally, to her - I've never been part of a Surprise Party that actually worked before. It was a lot of fun, and she got a lot of cool things: light-up knitting needles, lovely stitch markers, knitting mags, yarn holders, tiny sheep magnets, a book on knitting Dog Hair, and a lovely tiny wheel carefully padded with baby camel hair fiber. (I think the wheel is some sort of special magical thing, but I don't know enough about such things yet.) I'm so glad it worked. And did I mention - COOLEST BIRTHDAY CAKE EVER??

In my universe, the amazing Alex's roving arrived. Eeeeeeee!!! Bounce, bounce bounce bounce bounce!!

Look at the wonderful Orange-yness! I'm having so much fun looking at these two little whorls of fiber, I'm almost reluctant to try spinning them. Luckily, there are two, so I'll figure it all out on the little one. I have no idea how much yarn I'm going to be getting out of these, and that will pretty much determine what it turns into. Expect the Spinning Adventures to begin shortly, with blow-by-blow reporting here!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Cream Cheese for Dummies.

Okay, slight break from fashion... to cheese.

Seriously, Cream Cheese for Dummies. Have you ever read all the instructions on your basic box of Philly Cream Cheese? Every single one is there because someone had a problem opening a box of cream cheese.

First, make sure you're holding the box correctly. Musn't go in the wrong side of the box. ONLY the front, for best results.

Then, lift flap. None of this stab-it-with-a-fork stuff. Lift.
And for gosh sakes, don't TEAR it! You'll need it later!

Now, if you've gotten the box thing down, don't just tear into the foil inside willy-nilly.
Open from the end, carefully, so you can seal it up again if you need to.

Opening a box isn't all that tough. And less print on the box (and no print on the foil) is how it used to be - but people Had Problems, so the lawyers and marketers had to make things even easier for everyone. I can so see Jay Leno doing a routine off this.
"Yeah, they think we're getting pretty stupid, see? We don't even know how to open a box of cream cheese.
              [Mimes struggling with box.]
(Whines:) Man, why don't they just
tell me how to open this box? I can't figure it out!!
              [Mimes struggling with box. Flings imaginary box over shoulder.]
That's it, I'm too dumb to eat cream cheese!!"

Anyway, I've got some crochet to show you. Not mine; D at my office crocheted this amazing Baloon Afghan for one of the girls here that's about to have a baby boy. It's just, well, amazing!

Yes, the last crochet thing I showed you was also by D. She's fast!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Winter Twilight Mitts

So, I began Wednesday with a completed Thumb #2 and 68 rows total finished. I managed to get two more done on the ride in to work - just eight rows of colorwork left, and back to only 48 stitches per round. If I could just finish those eight rows, and then the one k1 row, then the two decrease rows, then the four k1p1 rows then the k1 row then the bind-off, I'd be DONE! So easy, right? Never mind that it takes 15 minutes per row, if I was lucky (and not distracted) for a colorwork row, and I wasn't likely to have ANY spare time at my desk (since I was supposed to be working and all that), and that the ride home has been really knit-unfriendly lately, and that I probably wouldn't be home until 8pm at the earliest, and I stayed up WAAAAAAAY too late Monday and Tuesday, so I was sleep-deprived.

Thus, I managed to eat Low Sodium Wheat Thins and Dr. Pepper for lunch, whilst sitting on a bench in the sun for my entire lunch hour. Remember, I was sleep deprived. On the other hand, I got some knitting done. Lots of knitting. Heaps and heaps of knitting - otherwise known as The Rest Of The Colorwork. By the end of lunch, I was down to just the regular knitting stuff in just one color!

I also managed a SUNBURN.

Yep, after being all careful all spring and summer, I managed to get a sunburn this year in October. Just on the left side of my face, mind you (that's where the sun was, despite the supposed protection of the little tree between me and it) and my left ear. My arm must've gotten enough sun over the past six months that it's fine, despite also being in the sun. Hopefully, my hair will lighten up on that side, too, which would at least be a bit of a silver lining.

Anyway, there was lots of knitting done at lunch. And on the bus-ride cross-town to where my husband works. Thus, he was able to help me take these:

Huh. My eye looks oddly hazel.
It's actually grey.

Yep, that's finished Winter Twilight Mitts! They fit perfectly, and are snug enough to wear under coats without fear of gloves-coming-off-in-sleeve, which is annoying, and doesn't much help if I'm planning to wear the mitts all day. But they're done! They're done! Yaaaaaaay!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cool Gadget o' the Week

Okay, so, not much knitting on Monday, but Tuesday went much better. During lunch, I was able to sit across the street in our Shiny New Park and knit for an hour:

Our new park rocks. Comfy benches, and the airplanes overhead are loud enough
to drown out all the chatter from nearby annoying office drones without lives.
They do have lives, actually, they're just really boring.

This got me within four rows of being able to finish and cast off the thumb. And I got to hear all about Terry (that's what the other girl called her) and how, in middle school, y'know, you'd like a guy, and, like, even if he was a total jerk and hated you, you'd, like, still like him, but thank God she was past that, and if That Jerk (didn't catch his name) wasn't going to call, she wasn't going to waste any time thinking about him. And then Terry and her bench-buddy spent at least forty minutes dissecting every conversation Terry and The Jerk had had over the past three weeks. *eyeroll*

Oh! While I'm thinking about it, this is the Coolest Thing Ever. This is my new Clover row counter:

It has a space to be suspended off a cord (not included), but who needs that? It fits in my pocked, AND IT LOCKS so the numbers don't change unless I want them to. This works for me much better than other row counters I have tried (oh, so many varieties!), and I totally would not be able to knit my Winter Twilight Mitts without it. This isn't regularly-patterned colorwork, where once you figure out a row you just keep going; it's high-concentration-follow-the-pattern stuff. (I have lots of extra yarn, since I didn't realize how little I'd be using; the matching hat I'll be starting in January, when I'm allowed to start new stuff, will at least be eight repeats of the same complicated thing, so I won't be *quite* so pattern-attached.)

Anyway, cool new gadget that Solved That Problem. Yay!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Knitting with Nothin' to Show for it...

Well, I'm running on minimum sleep for no good reason, other than I was trying to knit when I was running on less sleep. This is never a good idea... but by the time I realize this, I've usually spent several hours trying to knit something that would've gone much faster later if I'd taken a nap/slept through the night instead of trying to finish. The object in question was, of course, the second Twilight Mitt. All of yesterday, given frogging, inability to find fresh batteries for my headlamp, and the distraction of television (I love The Big Bang Theory), I am now on row 57. That's . . . twelve? thirteen? ... up from yesterday. *Sigh.*

Anyway, the mitt looks about like it did yesterday, so another picture isn't really worth it. I can, however, blather on about how I got the pattern for the second mitt. The first mitt's instructions are "knit across the row of the chart, then knit that same row back the other way to make a round." So, for the second mitt, you just start at the left edge of the chart instead of the right, right? Oh HECK no. My brain barely got through transposing going the "usual" way. So, I had to mirror-image the chart, and then re-mark my size-downs. (I knit really loosely. And I have small hands. There was no way I was getting gauge unless I used something absurd like size 0000 needles and much thinner yarn. And I love this yarn, it's soft and fun and floopy.) To wit:

You can see where the actual (non-mirror-image) pattern goes, and that it wasn't all that hard to size it down, but it still looks like the original, so people will say "Oh, those are Laura Rintala's Winter Twilight Mitts," which is the point, because I wouldn't have come up with something like this on my own!

And, just because, here's a picture of a very blurry azalea bud that's trying to come out at my mother's house. In MID-OCTOBER.

Silly little thing.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A good weekend!

Today's a work day for us - for most folks, I think, except for the banks and the federal government (otherwise known as "the two groups of people that might call our firm on any given day"). Still not sure why we're open today, but we are. My husband was super-sweet and drove me right to the door this morning, so I was able to have my favorite fountain soda (ever so-not-attainable in the city) with breakfast, and have it to slowly sip on all day.

Saturday, got to go to the Fall Festival in Old Town Fairfax for an hour or so (which was time to find all my favorite vendors and buy loot. And fudge at Ben & Xander's. REALLY GOOD FUDGE. Then there were errands, a nap, then a dash to Nature's Yarns to get The Last Spindle and some navy blue fluff. (The amazing Alex is sending me some orange fluff to play with; if you've ever heard me rant about my favorite football team, you know why I got the navy blue as well. PS, she's dIZZY sPINNERY on etsy.... pretty stuff!!)

Sunday, we got to see my husband's sister, who was in town for a few days to see our grandma, who'd had a bad turn. We just talked for hours and hours, which was fun, and I got to knit while we talked.

Thus, I got Something Accomplished, knitting-wise! Winter Twilight Mitt #1 had some problems when I cast it off the first time:

So very, very wrong.

You can see there's a problem. Even with k1p1 ribbing, it rolled. A LOT. Worse than most stockinette - plus, it was, somehow, mysteriously, four times wider than it needed to be. The colorwork part? Just fine. Fit perfectly. Snug. Like a glove, one might say. So - RIIIIIIIIP. Turns out k1 around, followed by one row of k4-k2tog around, followed by one row of k6-k2tog, k1 around then cast off worked. SEE??

Then I had time to get up to row 42 (of 78) of Twilight Mitt #2!

So, I got to buy cool stuff, hang out with cool people, and actually accomplish knitting. A good weekend, definitely!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

A bit of knitting, and a RANT.

Sonia Rykiel's Sonia collection (Autumn Winter 2008) had some cute stuff. The only thing that really hit a chord with me, though, was this:

I wanted a dress almost exactly like this (I think it was green stripes) during my brief flirtation with Preppydom in high school. (Things *do* come back in style, see?) Plus, that new study that came out? Horizontal stripes, if placed properly, make one look THINNER - verticals make you look BOXIER!! (I've always noticed this myself, so I tend to wear horizontal, but it's nice to know that I was actually RIGHT.) I thought about it - and it would be SUPER easy to knit something similar. So, if I ever finish half the stuff I'm working on, I'll make one for myself. Without the scrunchy forearms, most likely, and probably just a *wee* bit longer...!

Anyway, actual knitting content. Um. I stayed up waaaaaaaay too late last night. I didn't actually finish much, but I'm now past the thumb (well, I guess that's finished) and about 12 rows from the end of my Mitt.

I would've been much further, but sitting out in the park by the river in the allegedly fresh, open air - there was a ranger using Nutri-Air or OUST or some other toxin that causes a pretty bad reaction in my poor little lungs, so instead of burning off the extra non-billable time from work by sauntering in a half-hour late, I ended up in a bit early for slightly less bad air.
I HATE, hate HATE the chemical they're putting in that 'fresh air' crap - Fabreeze, OUST, Nutri-Air and all their little clones have it. It says, right on the spray can, listed below. They tried it in the BATHROOMS of my work building - I had a bad reaction, they didn't stop. One of the Rich Tenants got rushed to the hospital; it's gone. Pisses me off that me getting sick wasn't enough, y'know? The Bed, Bath & Beyonds here have started using it throughout the stores, so they've lost my business. (I've let them know this in no uncertain terms, and I'm waiting for the class-actions to start rolling in. They already have, but not against the major retail stores yet. I give it about ten years, and the whatever-it-is (I have the chemical name written in my phone so I can check stuff before buying) will be banned in the US.
Here's the actual warning:

Active ingredient: Triethylene Glycol (6.0%)
Inert ingredients (94%)
Warnings: Avoid contact with food and utensils. Avoid contact with eyes. Before using product throughout your home, use in one room and wait 24 hours to ensure that no one has any physical reactions to the product. Extremely flammable-- keep away from fire, sparks and heated surfaces. Do not puncture or incinerate container. Exposure to temperatures above 120 F may cause bursting. Asthma and allergy sufferers should consult their physician befor using this product.

Ranger-Dude and his nasty little spray can of death better not be there during lunch. That's all I'm sayin'.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I blame books for my lack of knitting time.

Um... no actual knitting. But knitting books!! Loookeee!!

New Yarn Harlot!!!

Little book I've wanted to buy
but couldn't justify unless
I was buying another book...

But I did wander about for a while at lunch, and found

a Mule (red arrow) pulling a boat down the Canal

and whilst walking home,

a really confused Cherry Tree, Trying to bloom in October.

Knitting tomorrow. Really.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A wee bit of knitting.

Well, the stock market free-fall on Monday (which was continued on Tuesday!) will have some "interesting" ripple effects. A lot of small boutique and specialty stores tend to fall victim to hard economic times first - like LNSs and yarn stores. Support your local LNS if you can, so it will be there later!

The BBC is running a "Your Pictures - the sartorial sins of your childhood" photo gallery right now. I don't think that many are all *that* bad, since I spent every day of my early childhood in a red turtleneck, red corderoy pants, red sneakers and little red hair-ribbons. My favorite is the following:

I like the idea of Grandma covering all her loved ones with her job lot of maroon wool.

I would've gotten a lot more done on my Twilight Mitts, but the Twilight Author, Stephanie Meyers, has this new book, The Host, which I happened to snag from the library. And, per usual, can't put down. So, no knitting yesterday at lunch...

... and not much on the ride home. Or once *at* home. Thanks to a bit of knitting this morning, on the ride in, I made it to row 60 (of 83).

Can you see any difference from yesterday's photo?

This is a Very Slow Mitten. Having to frog every so often because I've lost my place in the pattern, and kinda winging it on the thumb is lining up some interesting challenges doing Mitt #2!