around n round she goes

A blog for my knitting, spinning, quilting, violin-playing, or whatever else floats my boat

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Location: Texas

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Oh, look. A blog.

A blog that I've neglected terribly in the last year. Let's hope that things go better this year.
Let's start with Christmas, why don't we....

Hubby gave me a fine-sett modular Tri-loom from Hideaway Homestead. I've been looking at them for ages, so was pretty tickled to get it. It's the 5 foot size so I can make a decent size shawl with it - not huge, but a nice shoulder size.
Weaving goes soooo much faster than knitting. This little thing took me about a week. It's the most basic version of weaving on this loom - just a simple tabby weave using the continuous weaving process. It took less yardage than knitting, too. (Not that I'm about to stop knitting - this isn't terribly portable after all.)
I had plenty of purple yarn left over so I ran to the local yarn shop and picked up a skein of gray in the same wool/linen blend and I'll be doing a plaid shawl next. Plaids are supposed to be really easy with this method.

I've been doing a lot of sock knitting lately, using the two-at-a-time method that I learned at the Sock Summit. It's great to be able to finish the socks at the same time and not have to worry about single sock syndrome.

Here's a random picture of Otis, my parent's Jack Russell. Mom and Dad adopted him years ago and he's getting pretty old and creaky. I tried to get him to look at me, but he's deaf and didn't know I was trying to get his attention. He has a neurological disorder, too, and lists to one side. He still eats well and loves to take (very) short walks with Dad and otherwise is content to sleep in a nice warm spot. Not a bad way to retire. All those years of defending the home fires have paid off.
Next up, my sheep to shawl project. It's finally finished but I still need to take the final pictures. Oh well, that'll give me something to blog about next time.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cat's Paw Scarf update

I've finally found and added the chart to my Cat's Paw Scarf (see the side-bar under free patterns). I've had people request the chart and I couldn't get back to them for lack of email info. And I lost the dang chart and then found it again..... I apologize for all that asked for it and I never got back to them.

I may actually post something again... I went to the Sock Summit and had a great time, then came home and promptly got an upper respiratory infection (I blame the plane ride), then got bronchitis ('cause that's always what happens after a respiratory infection for me), then got swine flu (probably from going to that clinic for the other two infections). After almost a month and 3 rounds of antibiotics with a round of Tamiflu to cap it off, I 'think' I may be well. Yay!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sock Summit part two

Did anyone else freak out trying to get their reservations at the 2009 Sock Summit? It was at least as much fun as I was expecting and I was glad it was over my lunch break.

It reminded me of the Friday after Thanksgiving with a 90% off everything in the store starting at midnight for 2 hours kind of thing. No casualties that I'm aware of, but it was a close thing. Well, I'm not sure that the Sock Summit Team has actually slept yet, but I hope that they've at least had a meal or two and a beer or three by now.

I was only close to tears once - after trying for 35 minutes to get in to the shopping cart (and stay there long enough to actually select my classes) I had entered my payment information and hit the send button. And waited, .... and waited. And then it timed out on me again. Their server was totally overwhelmed by the rabid sock knitters.

I freaked out. Did it accept my stuff? Did I actually reserve my spot? If it didn't I was out of luck because everything I wanted (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th choices) was sold out almost immediately.

Fortunately, sanity returned after a few minutes and I checked my email. Yes! Confirmation numbers for all three classes!

It would have really stunk if after already paying for airline tickets and reserving a hotel room and rental car I hadn't been able to actually go to the Sock Summit. It's my primary reason to be in Portland, after all.

So after all that I'll be spending one day with Melissa Morgan-Oakes learning how to knit two socks at one time on one circular needle. Then I get to spend a day with Nancy Bush learning all about Estonian socks.

And to round it out, I'll be spending half a day learning about knitting ergonomics with Carson Demers, a knitter and physical therapist. I'll probably really need this one by Sunday morning of the Summit.

Those were my first choices, too!

Hubby will be exploring the pleasures of the local zoo, gardens and parks on the days I'm in class.

Thank you, Sock Summit Team! Hope you have a chance to breathe soon!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Yarn containment and the fine print

My sewing/knitting/music/craft room has been a disaster area for quite some time. I literally can't get to parts of it.

In an attempt to control the chaos I purchased some baker's racks from the local craft store. They're pretty wicker shelves with ornate metal sides. It took me a while just to clear enough junk out of the way to set the dang shelves up on the designated wall. Of course it was the wall furthest from the door.

Now to actually corral my stuff and get it on the shelves. The quilting and costuming material isn't a real problem. At least it lies flat and I can stack it fairly easily.

The yarn is another matter. I have a bit of yarn. OK, I have a lot of yarn. I've been knitting for four or five years now and crocheted before that and have managed to accumulate an impressive stash. Impressive even after I've donated yarn to the women's prison a couple of times.

These are open shelves and yarn has a tendency to not lie flat like material. It will roll around, snag on the pretty wicker, and manage to make a bigger mess than its already in. I looked at pretty little baskets and bins and thought they weren't really practical for the creature that is the stash. (Besides, I'm cheap and those dang baskets were expensive.)

Then there's that so-called stroke of genius I had. I'll just go buy some of that decorative fisherman's netting from the craft store and wrap it all the way around some of the shelves, making the whole shelf a bin. A few s-hooks to keep it in place and I'll be good to go, right?

So we dashed off to the store and bought three packages of 3 x 5 foot 'decorative fisherman's netting'. Got it home and opened it up.

Here's that fine print that I missed in my rush to get things organized... 'genuine used fisherman's netting'. Make that WELL USED. This stuff smelled like it just came off the docks after lying in fish entrails for a year or so.

Not to be dismayed I grabbed a bucket and various forms of liquid soap. Lots of soaking and hot water later I was still smelling fish and still getting really skanky looking rinse water in the bucket. I finally gave up last night and let it dry out.

Yep, still stinky this morning. The three nets went into the washing machine tonight with lots of Tide and lots of liquid fabric softener. They're hanging over a rod drying out now and (fingers crossed) smell ok. Can you imagine what that would have done to my yarn?

Granted I have a few raw, unwashed fleeces waiting for some attention, but that just smells like.... well, OK, some of it is kind of strong, too. After all, unwashed sheep can be kind of fragrant. But at least I expected raw wool to smell. And I don't think fishy and sheepy yarn is really what I want to cuddle up to at night.

After all this work I still don't have anything on the shelves. Hopefully, I'll be able to make some headway this weekend. Oops, forgot that I haven't bought any s-hooks yet. Guess that means a trip to the hardware store, too.

Maybe I should have opted for those cute little baskets after all.

Friday, May 01, 2009

what a waste of a Friday night - Wrinkle Treatment

Sitting around on a Friday night, playing with my new laptop, don't feel too great (got the crud that's going around). So what am I doing? Taking silly online tests and watching The Witches of Eastwicke. Playing Bedazzled, MahJong, Solitaire. I think its time for bed...

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Sock Summit

Anyone else planning to go to the Sock Summit? Looks to be a fab event, even if you don't knit socks. Lots of prestigious teachers/authors. Lots of merchants. Lots of yarn.

My husband and I have decided to make this our vacation this year. (This is re-payment for all those chess tournaments I went to with him.)

Portland looks like a great place to visit so we're planning to stay the whole week. Anyone been there and can give us a must-see list? My DH loves to take nature photographs (especially butterflies and insects) so I'm hoping he'll have lots of opportunities.

Of course, it would be nice if I was actually knitting. I have hardly touched a knitting needle this year - too much neck pain. I'm hoping that will be better by the time we go to this thing.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A few of my favorite things

My new favorite quote:

"The problem with aging is not that it's one damn thing after another -- it's every damn thing, all at once, all the time."
Old Man's War by John Scalzi

My favorite electronic toy:

My Amazon Kindle - I just got my Kindle2, but I've had the original Kindle since last June.

Favorite features of the Kindle2:
- text to speech. Ok, so the voice is funky, but you can adjust the reading speed and the voice can be male or female. It's great when I'm working on something tedious (like all the keying I've been doing lately).
- variable text size. The original Kindle has this, too, but the large text in the new one is a bit larger. This is great for me, since the vision isn't getting any better.

My favorite professional:

My medical massage therapist. Granted, she's almost fighting a losing battle against the kinks in my neck and shoulders, but she's doing her darndest to force those muscle to relax. If you've never had deep tissue or trigger point massage - it's not the relaxing Swedish massage. It's actually rather painful starting out (or at least it was for me). Of course, I was in so much pain anyway that there wasn't much that wasn't going to hurt.

Well, that's all I have time for now. I was waiting for a report to finish running and it looks like it did. The auditors will be gone after this week and hopefully I'll be on a more reasonable schedule.
Who knows? Maybe I'll actually get to knit again! Or even go to a violin lesson!