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.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Spam Spam Spam Spam

Sometimes I look at obvious spam emails and wonder, how stupid do they think I am?
Pretty damned stupid, apparently.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019


The yarn that I wound to start the next pair of socks:
The start of the first sock--in a different pattern from my usual! Stop the presses!
 The cute new project bag:
That is holding this sock.
Details to come.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Tidying and Plotting

The other day, I worked on tidying my knitting-stuff area, which was a bit ... untidy. Before:
 A little better, right? I think so. I used this cute sheep bowl that my aunt got me for Christmas:
To hold stitch markers, and only stitch markers. No more opening a tin to find blocking pins or point protectors.
I can actually see some of the other tools, instead of having to dig for them.
I also have a new table to play with; one of our neighbors offered it to us, after she got some new furniture. It's a nice sturdy little thing, and I'm figuring out how it fits in with my storage needs.
Meanwhile, I'm doing yet more what-knitting-next plotting. There are:

  • the two shawls I'm most interested in from the book I got recently; 
  • the next top I want to make, once I finish the one in progress
  • there's a shawl I mentioned only in passing, the Konoha no Shawlette, which I have wound yarn for already;
  • I'm at the toe of the second sock, and the other day I was wearing my Claire socks and thinking of making that pattern again, so maybe that will be next;
  • and then at knitting last week, someone was wearing a perfectly lovely shawl, Sagitta, and I was instantly smitten.
I started thinking about what yarns I have that might do, and remembered a set of Socks That Rock Mediumweight mini-skeins that I got a few years back. 

I have other, full-size skeins of the same yarn, so I started looking into possibilities:
Still pondering; I have to look more deeply at the pattern to decide how many colors I want to use.

In other yarn news, I got a box the other day:
And I was slightly worried:
But the contents were packed well, and unharmed. (Also, I am informed, the box makes an excellent cat bed. Who knew.)

And despite the label, the box was not only yarn, it had other things. But there was this yarn.

It will make a lovely little shawl at some point. I use shawls quite a lot down here, so I can see where having more will be a good thing. Which is nice, since I want to knit them!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

I Just Had To

I've definitely been holding back talking about the weather since I moved here, and especially now that winter is hitting my friends up north--I've held off both here, and even more so on Facebook. I don't want to gloat, and I'm pretty sure that no one dealing with real winter weather wanted to hear me complain yesterday about how cold I was exercising in the (outdoor) pool, when it was only about 65, just partly sunny, and quite windy. (Brrr, though. The whole class was complaining, not just me, and when the instructor arrived and saw us in the pool, she called us crazy people.)

Still, when I saw this cartoon this morning, up on Facebook it went.

Made for me, right?

Monday, January 14, 2019

Not Done, But Getting Close

I've been knitting this shirt for a while (almost four months, actually), and it isn't finished yet, but look how close it is!
The body is done, knit in the round; then I've finished the top back, which is knit flat.

The color changes mean that while one sleeve edge is nice and tidy:
The other side looked like this:
I have since woven those ends in, and started the top front. Getting close!

In other knitting news, the blanket is almost to the end of the second skein, so half done, and the second sock is almost to the toe, so almost done there as well. Progress!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

More Kittens

I went to visit the kittens a bit earlier than usual today, in hopes that they might be more energetic, but half an hour later, here we were:
They did have some energy to start. There was tussling galore.
Don't they look like they're going to shake hands?
There was some fishing pole toy. One kitten:
Two kittens:
Three kittens:
Three and a lap kitten:
But some sleepies started to show up before long.
Can't ... stay ... awake ...
Bath time, thank you.
Some more tussling. If you can't bunny-kick your sister's head, whose head can you bunny-kick?
A little of the old Open Mouth of Outrage.
Bathing and sleepies.
Such sleepies.
A little mutual face washing.
And that's all she wrote.