Tuesday, April 28, 2020

A Day Off

I took today off from work, since we're in a bit of a lull at the moment; it's kind of weird, because two weeks ago we were flat out with work pouring in, and a week ago we were still quite busy, and then at the end of last week it all slowed down. Which is not usually how it goes toward the end of the month, but hey, nothing is normal these days.

I was thinking, toward the end of last week, that it would be nice to take a day off but that it was kind of silly when work was so quiet, but then yesterday, even though I wasn't busy all day, when work did come in it made me Unreasonably Crabby that I thought, hey, I may not travel again this year, no real point in saving up all my time off, why not use up some personal time anyway, and have a do-nothing day. My boss okayed it, so I have.

And it's been nice. It's a beautiful day, and not as humid as it's been lately, so we have the air conditioning off and the windows open, blowing sweet-smelling air through. I slept in a little late, lazed around reading the papers at leisure, cat on lap, all that. The only downside is that I aggravated my back yesterday, so it's really giving me some grief (I just sneezed "achoo-owwww!"), but other than that, and the general state of the world, it's been good.

Now I'm finishing up an iced coffee and thinking about getting in the pool. Last night, one of the hockey game choices on TV actually turned out to be Boston-Vancouver Game 7 from 2011, so that was fun to watch. It's on again tonight, so we'll probably watch it again, with the takeout pizza we're going out to get later.

Monday, April 27, 2020

A Field Trip (a story from Before)

Doesn't it feel like forever since one could say, "I went out with friends and had fun," and have that not be a shocking idea?

A while back, when we were, well, if not unaware of All This coming at us like a freight train, we were at least in a state of How bad can it get, really?* about it, I went out with some of my local knitting friends, who I've met at the Thursday night LYS knitting group, to a Miss Babs trunk shop at another yarn store, A Good Yarn of Sarasota. Yes, I felt like we were cheating on the local store! Having a stitch-and-bitch in a yarn store has distinct pluses and minuses over having one elsewhere.
*And now we all know just how bad, but truly, we didn't then.

So, yes, when the idea was discussed, I was very interested in going. Sure, why not? Getting to know the knitters better! Seeing a yarn store I hadn't seen before! Miss Babs yarn!

We went in two cars, and stopped for lunch before going to the yarn store. It's a very nice one; I only wish it was closer. And they had a huge amount of Miss Babs in the back room!

The left and part of the center:
More of the center:
And there was more to the right, and just outside the back.

Scenes from around the store:

But you want to know what I bought, right? Well, I want to show you!

Three skeins of Yummy 2-ply, in colors I thought went well together (Greatly Desired, Whale Watch, and Franklin):

And then these two:
Yummy again, in colorway Chalcedony, and the real swoon, Sojourn, which is cashmere and silk, in colorway Sea Life. It is amazing, trust me.

The store had a lot of good stuff, but I restrained myself and only got one more thing: Some Blue Moon Fiber Arts Featherlight (that's the Socks That Rock people), in this fun colorway, Blue Ribbon.

It was such a good day (though I really have to remember that I'm not comfortable being one of three in a back seat, even the back seat of a comfy SUV, even not in the middle). Seems like another life, now.

ETA: Don't miss the update!

Sunday, April 26, 2020

I Miss Hockey

Since the NHL "paused" its season, I (often with my mother) have still been able to watch some hockey here and there. NBCSN sometimes has hockey games on, but they of course cover other sports too, and so mostly it's been the NHL Network and Center Ice, for obvious reasons.

The NHL Network likes to do themes, so they'll do a whole bunch of all-star-game-related shows, or a bunch of Winter Classics in a row. Or they showed the games it took St Louis to get to last year's Cup, which, no thank you for me, but I can see the point. Still, I prefer it when they just pick some old random game to show. Some of them are way back, 90s or early 2000s, and we have fun picking out differences to today's game, even above the video quality and square broadcast view: no ads in the ice! Look, he's not wearing a helmet! Wait, how is that not a penalty?!

Center Ice didn't immediately start showing games when the season stopped, but when I checked a week or two later, they were doing some. What they do is pick four games, and replay them throughout the day at set times. At first they were all games from this season, but recently it's been more varied, going farther back. It can be great fun, and since they don't show commercials or the intermission programming, it goes by pretty quickly.

I'd love to know who's selecting which games to show, and why they do it the way they do, such as playing the same game as one of the four options for several days in a row. Of course I wish they'd show the Bruins once in a while, too: it's not that they only play every other team (it's a bit bunchy toward a few teams, like Chicago, and Philly, and I've probably seen the Colorado one where Bourque gets the Cup a dozen times in the last two months), but there has literally been one Bruins game shown on Center Ice since they started this, and the Bruins lost it, so that was less than fun for me. I'm assuming it has something to do with rights, and presumably they don't have NESN's permission (hey NESN! Give them permission!), but there has to be something they could do.

There are also a few games that I recorded for one reason or another: the game Mom and I went to against the Panthers, which seems like a lifetime ago (March 5!), and also the previous game when the Bruins were in Tampa, which I recorded to make sure I knew how to record it. And a few from earlier in the season; wow, do I ever wish I had recorded more of them, but who knew? We watched part of that Tampa game last night, and they're just so business-as-usual, showing the standings and talking about the upcoming playoffs, and everything was so normal. I miss that.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Have To, Really

I don't usually put pictures of myself up on the blog, out of a vague sense of privacy, but I think I'm safe sharing this one.
Picking up a prescription, or robbing the store, which does it look like? We live in crazy times, my friends.

Friday, April 24, 2020


So! The three things I showed you yesterday are:

First, another headband I knitted. Same pattern as the one I made before, the Hot Mess Headband, using the skein of Knit Picks Main Line that came in the bag of yarn. It's a slightly heavier weight, but 75/25 cotton/merino, so I figured it would paradoxically be a lighter option in hot weather, when I might not want the llama tickling my neck. I cast on 18 instead of 22 stitches, and made it slightly shorter as well, since the first one either stretched or was a bit too long to begin with; it stays on pretty well, but this version has less give, so I didn't want it falling off. It works fine so far.

Then there's the progress on the lacy scarf. The project is coming along nicely; I like the look of the pattern, and am very happy with the colors. Win-win!

And then there's the yarn. Yeah, I know what you want to see more of!

I got two skeins from Purple Lamb Fiber Arts. One is on the base Sock Perfection, colorway Onyx and Sapphires.
It's mostly black, but the blue bits will show up throughout, like you can see on the product page.
So pretty. And soft.
Then there's Beautiful Universe, on Sparkly Merino Sock.
I just couldn't resist.
Like stars against the milky way, is how I imagine it will knit up.

I may try putting them together for a project, or may do separate things with them; undecided right now, but I have them, for when I'm ready!

By the way, I did get one more thing in that order, not yarn...I'll tell you about that another time. Leave them wanting more!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Think Again

Did you think that putting a piece of bubble wrap on the treat table would discourage Maggie from sitting there and begging for more treats?

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Quick Note for Sharon

For the second day in a row, I have a combo headache and exhaustion thing going on (which feels like I'm wearing a yoke with a lead cape attached to it), so I'm not good for much here. But I wanted to ask Sharon, if you read this and still want that Paton's yarn, I can't see any way to reach you directly, so send me your mailing address, okay? To:

ccrinma at hotmail.com

And if anyone else wants me to send them any other yarn from that post, do the same.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Third Time Lucky

So already I have an update to yesterday's update on the lace knitting:
Did not work! I was going along, not that far into it, and my count was screwed up and I couldn't even see where, and I got pretty upset; I wasn't having the best day, mentally, and I just wanted this one thing to go right, and argh.

After I calmed down (quite a while later), I reassessed the problem(s):
  1. The stitch count being off was clearly the main problem.
  2. It was maybe wider than I wanted, given my desire to use up every bit of this yarn.
  3. It was really lightweight, which, I know, lace-weight yarn is, but I wasn't sure I was loving how it was coming.
  4. Though it wasn't very far along, it wasn't looking quite right, somehow.
To address the last point first, I looked up my previous feather-and-fan experience, which was part of the Mioget shawl I made a few years ago. Both what I had there, and the pattern I was using for Take Two, are 4-row repeats, but the Mioget was knit a row, purl a row, pattern row, purl a row, while this one was knit a row, purl a row, pattern row, knit a row. Now, that isn't going to look the same! I looked at other people's projects for that pattern, and couldn't see a problem, but decided that I did want it to look like the Mioget did, so that addressed the fourth point. Wait, let me do them in order again.
  1. Using stitch markers between the repeats across enables me to check the stitch count before I've knit all the rows in between. I really need to do this. Simple fix.
  2. Don't do as many repeats, so it will be narrower but can be longer, more a scarf than a stole.
  3. Hey, maybe if I held the grey yarn together with another lace-weight yarn, I'd like the look/feel better.
  4. Switching to the feather-and-fan that worked for me before.
To address point three, I went to my shelf of lace yarns, and found this lovely skein waiting there for me.
Look at the colors!
It's Malabrigo Baby Silkpaca, which goes well with cashmere-silk, don't you think?
So I wound it.
Started last night, worked on it more today, and very happy with it so far!

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Knitting Updates

I mentioned recently that I had the itch to cast on some lace, and started a little scarf project, but though it was looking pretty, today I frogged it.
The pattern itself was not the problem; my current attention span was the problem. Anyone else noticing they just don't have the mental stamina for some things these days? I cast on a very simple feather-and-fan pattern instead, and hope it will work better with what I can give it right now. It isn't much to look at yet, but I'll let you know how it goes.
Meanwhile, thanks to the Zoom knitting nights, I've been making good progress on the Trianglegram shawl. Still very happy with how it's going!
It's getting to where I won't be able to stretch it out fully on the needles, but it's not near big enough to call done, so on I'll go.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Yarn Sharing

On Saturday, when we got home with our groceries, I stepped out of the car to be hailed by a neighbor who said she had something for me.
I guess she did! It turns out that she has a friend who was cleaning out things she no longer uses, and guess what, shopping bag full of random yarn!

Maggie was pleased to help me inspect the contents.
"Really, I'll help. You shouldn't have to do this alone."
"Fine, I'll get down, but I'm not going far."
Today I took it all out to photograph separately. It's a nice assortment, but some of it appeals to me more than others, as is natural. If you see anything that grabs your fancy, I'd be glad to mail it to you, and share the bounty. Take a look! (ETA: I crossed out what's gone, but let me know if you want any of the others.)

Two skeins of Cascade 220 Heathers in a soft green (none of these photos did too well on the colors, sigh).

A nice complementary blue, which is actually from Brown Sheep.

A big skein of New Zealand wool from Wool Pak Yarns NZ, in a dark green.
 Patons Classic Wool in the imaginatively named Dark Grey Mix.
And another in Leaf Green.
A partial skein of beige yarn that looks very similar to the Patons, but no promises on that.
One ball of Rowan Felted Tweed in 142, which according to Ravelry is also called Melody. It's a sort of light lavender with tweedy bits.

 One ball of Knit Picks Main Line in Antique Rose.
 And one of Jaeger Trinity in 435, aka Wisteria, which is a pale pink-purple.
 Two Lamb's Pride Worsted: Old Sage is a sort of khaki green.
And Bulldog Blue is a very dark navy.
Lion Brand Suede in Sage.
Random partial blue and blacks.
And the surprise of the lot, this:
Sonata Bulky Rayon Chenille.
To be honest, to me it looks like a muppet threw up. But for the right person or the right project, it would be great!

I have no idea of the pet conditions of the original owner's home, though I can attest that there's no smell of cigarettes about it. I'm sure it's picked up a bit of cat hair here, but not enough to worry any but the most allergic.

Anything you want?