Monday, February 18, 2019

Quoted, My Dad, as Applies to Knitting

I enjoyed the heck out of my bonus weekend day--I love a three-day-weekend--and got lots of knitting done. But I had a moment with the Hawthorne shawl that made me think of my dad.

Dad had a few funny signs on his desk when I was a kid. I remember one that said something like:
1. I am always right.
2. I am never wrong.
In case of doubt, see rule 1.
But the one I was thinking of today went along the lines of:
"I made a mistake once. I thought I was wrong."
I got almost to the end of a row and thought, oh, no, I don't have the right number of stitches! I screwed something up! Waaaayyyy back at the beginning of the (really long) row!

I started to tink the row back to fix it, then I stopped. Something wasn't right. I checked on Ravelry to see if anyone else was complaining about that row, but no. I went back and looked at it again. The thing was, if I had done something at the beginning of the row that used one stitch more than it should have, I should have been one-stitch-off all across the row, and the pattern looked just right.

So I looked at the item in question again, and no, wait, that's right. But then how am I off at the end? I looked at that part of the pattern again, and light dawned on Marblehead. I was reading that bit wrong, and did in fact have the number of stitches I needed to have to do what it was actually telling me to do. Whew! So glad I figured it out before I tinked the whole damned row.

So while I was making a mistake conceptually at the end, I didn't make one actually at the beginning. Again, whew.

And it's looking good, too, if I do say so myself.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Just Kittens

You know, being kittens. Utterly adorable, and slightly blurry!

And not the best shot of the mama and her two babies, but she wasn't really excited for me to get closer, so I didn't.
Super cute!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Knitters, Is There a Word For It?

Sometimes, as a knitter, I feel the pull of wanting to start a new project, and another, and another ... startitis is what it's called, and it can be very real.

Now I'm looking for a similar word for buying yarn ... I'm coming up short for a word that captures the essential, stronger-than-standard, ooh-pretty-want-buy impulse that I've been feeling lately--for about the last three months, at least. Shall I sum up?

In December, I went on the local yarn crawl, and bought some nice things, as detailed here.

Also in December, and I don't think I blogged about this one (this turns out to be a theme through this post), I ordered yarn as part of a Winter Solstice package, from a new-to-me dyer called Lady Dye Yarns (clever name, eh?). It was a whole mix of things:
The yarn is labeled as worsted/heavy worsted, 100% wool*, 220 yards, and feels very nice. The colors aren't well-captured in this photo, being lavender/pink with some blue/purple, and doesn't call out to me personally, but I'm sure something/someone will come along that/who it will be perfect for.
*The dyer has two listings on Ravelry for worsted, one merino and one Peruvian wool, and I'm not sure which this is! I have dealt with this by not putting it in my stash there, but I want to have it listed, so...have to do something about that. Pick one, I guess.

The package included a hat pattern, dpns, a pin and a stitch marker...neat stuff.

At the end of December, Blue Moon Fiber Arts announced that they were going to discontinue their BFL Sport yarn, and would be offering a special on dyed-to-order skeins, last chance. I used this yarn when I made the Bigger on the Inside shawl, back in 2012*, and loved it, so I decided to take advantage of the sale. No photos yet, as they got slammed by orders and it hasn't come yet, but be sure I will show it when it gets here!
*Wow, that long ago?

In January, I succumbed to an email from the Loopy Ewe, a yarn store in Colorado, which had a limited-time colorway of Dream in Color Smooshy with cashmere, mmm. Didn't blog this yet either, eh?

Maggie, meanwhile, has adopted the box it came in as The Best Bed Ever, so there it still sits on the lanai.
She's on it all the time. Cats are so weird.

Another "I didn't blog about this?" was at the end of January, when I went to a trunk show for Claudia's Hand Painted Yarns, and had what the Yarn Harlot has called a bit of a falling-down. She makes a fingering-weight yarn called Oh Baby Merino Silk that is simply lovely, and, well. Two more shawls to come.

Are we done yet? No, we are not, for we have reached February. First, this, from another new-to-me, Onyx Fiber Arts:

Pretty, pretty.

Then I was at knitting this week and they had a trunk show of a Florida dyer, Emma's Yarn, and I just couldn't leave this huge, glorious skein there.
And last but certainly not least, I was on Ravelry a while back and stumbled across someone's stash of a yarn I loved that doesn't seem to be available anymore, Maple Creek Farm Fredricksburg, a BFL yarn, light but warm. It's what I used in my Frost Diamonds shawl, which came out so well (wow, that was in 2011?). I originally bought it at Rhinebeck, and they were there a couple of years, but were gone last time, and I can't find anything about them online. Anyway, this person had two skeins of a beautiful colorway, so I sent a message just in case they were willing to sell it, and guess what? Yes!

Whatever you want to call this buy-it-all-itis, I really need to stop it ... but I don't regret a thing.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Ahhh, Yeah

I hope you do, too!

Monday, February 11, 2019

What's in Your Pockets?

I saw this photo on Twitter; isn't it amazing?
It's like a window into the past. I'm particularly amused that his wallet had a pocket for train tickets!

The Library of Congress page about it is here; it says that they were given to the LOC in 1937, but doesn't address the "not seen for 111 years" part. According to a comment on the tweet, though, the LOC put them on display for the bicentennial.

Friday, February 08, 2019

The Face of Contentment

If only we could all be so happy.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Hey, Look At This!

I finished the top I was knitting!
I'm very pleased with it. It isn't perfect, but it's good--it fits, it's well-enough-done to wear in public--and I learned a lot in the making of it. I couldn't ask for much more.

Maggie was wildly impressed, as you can see.

Monday, February 04, 2019

It Isn't One of the FAQs

I got a bill in the mail on Saturday--for charges incurred in August.

Apparently* this is how Florida's Department of Transportation works? Because we went over to the east coast in August, and I'm only now being billed for the tolls.
*I say apparently because although there are FAQs on the bill, one of the questions is not, "Why did it take you almost six months to bill me?"

I shouldn't complain too much, because they didn't charge me any fees, and it was very easy to pay the bill online. However, I do have to point out this discrepancy:
It would be easier to "pay before the Pay By date" if the Pay By date box had a date in it, instead of being blank. Just saying.

Friday, February 01, 2019

Napping and Washing

Miss Maggie was being quite adorable today,

And then, her regular bath strategy, which is very energetic. She throws herself into it.
Yesterday, she almost rolled herself off the footstool: the dismount was very much "I meant to do that" and she was rather offended at how hard I was laughing.
We wash.
Then we are distracted by a noise.
And we frequently stop with our paws every which way.
She is so cute. Not that I'm biased or anything.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

A Different Type of Exercise Deterrent

As I mentioned last summer, when I joined the gym down here, I was surprised to learn that the swimming pool is outside. And now I can say it's been a bit of a problem for me; the weather recently has been cooler than usual for the time of year, and frequently is bringing me down to "not happy to be outside in just a swimsuit, even before we talk about getting in the water, and then getting OUT of the water in a wet swimsuit" levels. Back in October I was all, "oh, this isn't so pleasant but it's okay," but this month has been more "oh, no, not happening."

Please note that, as the parts of the country are experiencing negative temperatures, I am not complaining generally about the temperatures down here. Just in the context of outdoor swimming pools! If the temperature is 50-60, that sounds so nice, right? In January? And yet, if it's overcast, and there's a breeze, it goes right down to exercise-discouragement level. Nor am I the only one complaining: we've talked about wanting a wind-break by the side of the pool, about ways to heat towels, about how cold it has to be before they don't even open the pool. I stand by my recent statement that halfway through a fairly rigorous workout, I shouldn't have goosebumps.

It's a challenge, all right, and unfortunately I think the only solution lies in waiting for it to get warmer out.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Gummed Up

I like a certain kind of chewing gum.
In the past, I have bought containers that hold more pieces, but with the humidity down here, they went soft before I finished them, so I switched to these 12-individual-piece packages. I've been picking them up at drugstores, but recently thought to look on Amazon to see if I could just get them sent to me. Lo and behold:
The key part of the description:
So I was expecting, you know, six of the 12-packs. Not unreasonable for $7.14.

Imagine my surprise when this is what came instead.
That's ... a lot of gum. Quite a deal, of course. But I suspect someone made a mistake somewhere along the line.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

More About Recent Knitting

As I teased last week, I'm doing something a little new for my latest socks.

Yarn before winding:

By the way, I noticed something interesting when I was poking through my stash for STR: I have some skeins with wildly different amounts of yarn. Look at that: 127, 146, and 155 grams!
Anyway, back to winding. This kind of worked.
And here we are, ready to go:
And just getting started.
A little in:
And finally to the point where you can see the pattern!
As I had previously mentioned, I was inspired by wearing an old pair of Claire socks; I made them in 2012, and they're holding up remarkably well for 7-year-old socks. I made this pattern at least twice, and I'm not sure why I didn't make more, but hey, it's time! I like how the yarn colors and pattern are combining. I think they work well together: the colors aren't pooling badly (in my opinion, anyway) and you can still see the pattern.

Here's where I have to tell you that I am anticipating a possible problem: I suspect these may be too big. However, this is not the common knitter's blindness, where you look at a project, wonder if it's coming out too big, and then decide that oh no it's fine and knit blindly on, in denial. My eyes are very open to this. I'm suspicious because the size I'm making is 72 stitches, and in my usual pattern, it's 64, so these should be much too big.

However! The old pair fits me, and it's the same number of stitches, type of yarn, and size needle, so ... I'm going on, and wondering what the result will be. Despite the fact that Blue Moon calls this yarn STR Lightweight, it's actually moderately heavy for sock yarn, which does make for a firm fabric, and maybe that helps it stay up when a lighter one would slip down the ankle. We shall see.

Meanwhile, the bag I showed in the teaser is from a Mass-based artist, Stitched by JessaLu (I have one of her box bags as well).
Although this bucket bag is apparently designed with spinners in mind (which is why the handle can be undone, to clip onto the spinning wheel), it's just right for a sock project, and cute as a button sheep. She finds such fun fabrics, and does nice work; I'm very happy with it.

I'm low on time tonight (the Bruins are finally back after their bye week and the all-star game), so I'll tease again; look what else I've been up to.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Hockey Links

Some days, you* run across any number of hockey stories and fun bits. Here are a few.
*At least, if you're me, you do.

Oh, Canada. What else would you do on a frozen highway while waiting for the road to reopen, but get out sticks and a puck?

If you've ever been to a hockey game, especially in the minor leagues, they often have on-ice contests between periods featuring fans trying to do various things for prizes. Check this woman out!

On the latest episode of Behind the B, the Bruins reality show, they visit the farm team in Providence and we get to see how they celebrate a win (nothing I've seen before). I mean:
That's ... different.

Pasta made a Dunkin Donuts commercial!

"Hey ref, check your voice mail, you missed some calls!"

Finally, on a more personal note, I'm going to see the Bruins play the Panthers in March (yay), and I was looking at the arena's policies online, highlights of which include:

  • No airhorns or vuvuzelas
  • Cowbells are permitted
  • Masks will be allowed to be worn within the arena.
  • Please note that any hats thrown on the ice during a Hat Trick will not be returned.

That last one just screams "non-traditional hockey market" to me. I mean, who would think they would get their hat back?

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the game, and am also making my little plans for the day. For instance, we don't have a Container Store anywhere near here, but they're on the east coast! I think a drop-in is called for. I wonder if there are any restaurants I like that are in the same situation? Maybe Korean! I haven't found that around here yet. I don't need a fancy meal, by any means, but I'll want something before I go in the arena, where I'll have my traditional hockey game fare, a soft pretzel.

Disturbingly, the concessions purportedly sell a S'mores Pretzel--what kind of monstrosity is that? Man oh man. Is that also non-traditional hockey market, or is that A Hot New Thing I just don't know about? Discuss.

Friday, January 25, 2019

A Few Random Things From Today

This morning I went online to suspend my Audible account for a few months (I've gotten behind in using my credits, and just want a break). I couldn't click a button to do it, so I went into a chat (no, I am not calling, are you insane to suggest that) and stated my purpose, and he "offered me the option" of ... doing exactly what I was asking for.

I think perhaps that's the script to use if someone has asked for something else to be done, like closing the account? Because if I ask for something, and you offer me the "option" of getting it ... that's questionable use of English.

Then I got an email on the blog account:
So I wrote an "article" called November 2014? And you found it very interesting? I am dubious, to say the least. And I don't imagine my "audience" would find a collaboration of interest; what do you say, audience?

On the other hand, I ran across this randomly and had to laugh.
Probably not a joke that "kids these days" would get, but it amuses me!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Two Months

We've now had Miss Maggie around for two months, which manages to feel both like forever and no time at all (unless you measure time in number of photos taken, in which case she's clearly been here for many years). Traditionally this would call for photos to show how far she has come from the first nervous days, but not with this cat.

Here she is, after she'd been in the house about an hour and a half. What, me worry?
By the time she explored the lanai, she'd been here about 5 hours.
 And, at 24 hours after arrival:
So there we are.

She has us right where she wants us.