Sunday, March 30, 2014

In denial

I suffer from Knitter's Denial - even when I am designing something ...  I see what's going on, I recognize what is going to happen in the end ... but still I knit on thinking hoping that it will magically change somehow.

I was working on my next shawl design and I could see that the increase rate was too high, it was going to be larger than I wanted in the end.

I consulted with the Master ...

Yoda that is.

He told me, "Stop knitting you must!  There is no try, only UN-do!"

So sometime this week I will rip it all out (its not too far - I was on the 7th repeat of an 11 stitch edge pattern with increasing body stitches) but I am not in the mood to do it today.

I consider this type of thing SWATCHING ... yeah that's what I tell myself ...

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Felines Vol. 13 2014


Miss Bossy Boss is very concerned about the gas man outside replacing the meter.  Did she say he could do that?!?!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Last Sunset

The sun has set on my last day of unemployed life.  No more endless days of knitting, spinning, watching tv and reading - its back to the working world I go tomorrow ...

Friday, March 21, 2014

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Seasonal Sock Syndrome KAL

I'm hosting a year long KAL over on my Ravelry group.  

I am going to try out the Two Socks in One pattern.  Figure I have three months to figure it out, LOL!  I was thinking of doing self striping, but I like those socks to be matchy-matchy and it is recommended that each sock be on a different color since they are both on the same needle.   I picked out this yearn since its not striping and has short color repeats, but I think if I start each sock on a different color, then I can differentiate them.  

I am also  using my Addi Sock Rockets for the first time.  

Do you knit socks?  Come and join the fun!!

Knit a pair of socks for each season. There are no rules to what you knit – well as long as they are some form of socks (adult / big child - no baby or booties please) – whatever season it is – its up to you what color/pattern that means to you. And they have to be started and completed within the time frame of the season (listed below) to be eligible for the prize drawing. And you must be a member of the group … ok so there are three rules …

The dates for each season are below. Each entry must be started and completed within the time frame for the season.

March 20th to June 20th

June 21st to September 21st

September 22nd to December 20th

December 21st to March 19th

Come and join the sock KAL! Each completed pair of socks within a season is an entry for the prize drawing. Knit a pair, knit many pairs, its up to you.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

New Pattern Added to Ravelry

I finally added my shawl pattern to Ravelry. I was just waiting on photos ... which are OK, but not as great as I would like. I think the sun was too bright ... can't win.


Maëlys (mah-ay-LEES) is more than a scarf, but not quite a shawlette. It is wide (62”) and shallow (11”) and perfect for one skein of sock yarn that you’d rather display proudly around your neck.

It is worked from the bottom up in a lace pattern, then garter stitch and short rows for shaping.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Fresh Coat of Paint

Ahhh freshly painted nails.  Typically I have nice, strong, long nails,  but I broke both thumb nails recently and since they are hard as steel - when they do break  - they break - there is no give - I was lucky this time, no blood was involved, LOL!  So the rest got lopped off and I decided since they are so short I'd paint them.

I love painting my nails - I HATE waiting for them to dry.  I don't care how "quick dry" polish says it is ... its not.  I painted them and they were completely dry after 45-60 minutes.  I multi-tasked and got caught up on some tv.

Here's something you probably didn't know: I was a licensed manicurist for several years.  I only worked for 1-2 years, but I maintained the license for a long time in case I wanted to go back to it.  So when I paint them ... they will be perfect and shiny.  There will be no brush streaks, bumps, divets or oopsies.  It might take me 30 minutes to paint them - especially since I am right handed, painting the right hand is always challenging.  But I'll take the time because any imperfections will drive me NUTS and cause me to remove the polish from the offending nail (which also includes my right thumb and index finger as collateral damages) and I will do it again ...

I always do a base coat, 2 coats of polish and a top coat.  Overkill?  Maybe, but I can't do it any other way.

Did you know your nails have natural oil in them?  The base coat helps the colored polish adhere, also it protects your nails from the polish discoloring them (some polishes can turn your nails yellow).  If you fine polish peels and chips a lot for you, try going over your bare nails with nail polish remover first, it'll dry them out a little and help the polish stick.  And the top coat - well its super shiny and protects your polish.  Sometimes I put another coat on after a couple of days - I've been able to maintain polish for up to 2 weeks doing that.

Did you also know that if you go in just a hair from the sides of your nails with the polish that you'll reduce chipping?  Your nails bend a lot through the course of any daily activities - polish typically is not as pliant ... keeping the polish just a hair inside keeps it adhered to parts of your nails that don't bend as much and it'll resist chipping.  And you never, ever want to paint over your cuticle ... that's just asking for it to peel off sooner.  And nobody will notice unless your finger is 1/2" from their eye ball ... and if that's the case I'm sure your polish is the least of their concern.

I picked up this lilac the other day at the grocery store, when I went looking for my base and top coats I came across neon green and gunmetal (I've got a lot of crazy colors) - I was torn, but really wanted to try this new one out, plus - HELLOOOO it matches the blog!  So I guess I'll just have to paint them again in a couple of weeks - I'm really thinking gunmetal :o)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Felines - Vol. 11 2014 Special Birthday Edition - Riley


I can't say any one of our cats is a favorite, I love them all equally, but Riley is my baby boy.  When I lost my other baby boy to old age and complications with lifelong asthma - it hurt, bad, and Riley filled the void ... we even called him "Ollie" accidentally for a long, long time (good thing they sound the same, he didn't notice).

He was the CUTEST little baby.  He has the most beautiful markings.  He is soft as a feather, sweet as sugar and loyal as a dog.  

He greets me at the door when I come home, galloping around the corner ... and on days when he's sound asleep and doesn't hear me ... the first thing I do is look for him.

I can't sleep without him snuggling my feet and keeping me warm.  He loves mom-hugs - and hugs right back.  He gets really concerned when the food bowl isn't full to the top and makes sure we are aware.  When the bag of food is getting low, he KNOWS and gets really frantic, until he sees a new bag of food in the house.  Then he breaks into the new bag by chewing a hole in it ... every ... single ... time

He's an angel.  He's gentle, sweet and always happy.  I remember when my dog was old and arthritic she would spend a lot of time in her bed, it was clear that she was starting the journey to leave us, Riley would snuggle up next to her and keep her company.  A goofy hulk of a Rottweiler, Riley licking her forehead, giving her comfort.  

Riley could be referred to as "high strung" - if he's sitting on the couch watching tv with and you sneeze - he'll jump 10 feet and run out of the room ... but he comes right back.  He's just a little fragile, but he recovers quickly.  He is such a good boy and never destroys anything.  A simple whispered, "Ri, stop." immediately puts an end to anything he's too interested in (because he trots/hops frantically into another room).

Riley loves looking out windows, watching birds, squirrels and falling leaves.  

One time while we were doing construction and replacing a window on a ground floor room, the other two cats escaped outside (despite our efforts to cat proof the construction site).  Riley stayed inside and pitched a fit at the window in our bedroom, waking me.

Riley never growls, so I was immediately concerned at this sound.  I woke to find the other two missing from the house and checking outside, finding them sitting in the sun on the walkway.  I'm sure they told Riley it would be fun - look what we found!  I'm sure that Riley replied, "No, no!  We're not supposed to go outside, mommy said its dangerous, there are wild animals and cars on the road."

I'm sure they had only been outside a short time, when my husband and I ran towards them from opposite sides of the house, they ran right back into the hole from which they escaped.

We're lucky Riley was so concerned, if they had been out much longer we may not have found them before they wandered too far and met a car on the street or got lost forever.  

  He supplies us with endless laughter and amusement ... all without trying ...  he's just being Ri. 

Ri loves to watch TV!  One of his favs - Ocean's 11!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Felines - Vol. 10 2014


Riley is a little high strung, we refer to him as "fragile" - he's almost always got a look of concern on his face.  He likes to snuggle on the couch, but often catapults off the person he's on with no warning whatsoever.  And if you sneeze, cough or laugh, forget it, he's GONE!  The good thing is, he does come right back, so his fits of flight don't last very long :o)

Monday, March 3, 2014

FO: Spindle Alpaca

I started with 2 ounces of 100% Alpaca roving from Highland Handmades that I added to the cart when I purchased this Cherry spindle.

The Alpaca is SUPER soft and spins like a dream.  I love this spindle, the wood is beautiful, it spins wonderfully and such a joy to use.

I split the roving in half by weight, then spun up each half on the spindle and used my lazy kate to ply from.  I spun up the singles pretty fine.

This was the first time that I used this kate for plying from a spindle (which was one of the main reasons I wanted this particular kate, in addition to it having a tension mechanism) and it worked awesome!  Here's all I could fit on the spindle, which was almost all of the yarn, I ran out on one side before the other on the kate.

This was also the first time I plied on a top whorl spindle.  The only other plying I have done has been on a Turkish spindle.

I ended up with 182 yds of a fingering to light fingering weight yarn.  It came out pretty good, there is a difference in the thickness of the yarn throughout, I did start spinning this a long time ago, then it sat for a while and I went back to it, that's one of the things I am trying to get better at so that I have more consistency in the diameter of the yarn.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Elusive Skein

So after my issues with wondering if the sweater will fit properly ... I almost thought I had run out of yarn.  I KNEW I had purchased plenty, but it was four years ago ... so.  The next thing was WHERE was it?  I thought it was in this bookcase, in the bottom with the other worsted or portions of a WIP yarn:

I looked, I pulled a bunch of things out and looked again.  I pulled more things out ... still not finding it.  I have a small ottoman that is empty in the center for storage, that's where I store my WIPs, so I tried there.  Nope.

I knew the yarn on the left was for a sweater, as well as the purple yarn ... the elusive skeins was stuck way up in the top next to the Ariosa ... it was HIDING!  I looked a few times and short of getting down on the floor (this is the bottom shelf), I finally stuck my hand WAY in the back and came up with this: